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ED 400 436 

CE 072 799 


Iowa CASAS Pilot Project Reports. The Third Year... An 
Evaluation of CASAS Effectiveness in Iowa's Adult 
Basic Education Programs: A 353 Project Report. 


Iowa State Dept, of Education, Des Moines. Div. of 
Community Colleges. 


Sep 96 




Reports - Evaluative/Feasibility (142) 


MF01/PC04 Plus Postage. 


*Adult Basic Education; *Adult Students; *Bas i c 
Skills; Community Colleges; Evaluation Methods; 
Feasibility Studies; Pilot Projects; ^Student 
Evaluation; Two Year Colleges 



353 Project; *Compr ehens ive Adult Student Assessment 
System; Iowa 

This publication contains the reports for six Iowa 

Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) pilot projects 
conducted at the following community colleges: Northeast Iowa 
Community College, Eastern Iowa Community College, Kirkwood Community 
College, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Indian Hills Community 
College, and Southeastern Community College. Each pilot project 
report consists of these types of information: type of location; 
level of students; numbers of teachers, staff, and learners; types of 
CASAS materials; CASAS assessment instruments; results of 
pre/postassessment; adaptability of CASAS to adult basic education 
learners ; interagency cooperation; and anecdotal comments. The 
collective perceptions of these pilot project reports indicate the 
following: CASAS has a great degree of flexibility and adaptability 
in a variety of adult basic education classroom environments; a 
positive gain of 4~8 standard score points is found between pre- and 
posttesting on the CASAS scale; the students appear to perform well 
with the CASAS system because of its competency-based approach to 
instruction, curriculum, and assessment; and the CASAS system has 
direct applicability to critical life and employability skills. 


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6 ^> 7-2 797 

Pilot Project 

the third year... 

An Evaluation of CASAS 
Effectiveness in Iowa’s Adult 
Basic Education Programs: 

A 353 project report. 


Offce or Educational Research and Improvement 


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September 1996 



Pilot Project Reports 

An Evaluation of CASAS 
Effectiveness in Iowa’s Adult 
Basic Education Programs: 
A 353 project report. 

Iowa Department of Education 
Division of Community Colleges 
September 1996 




The purpose of the Iowa Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) 
Pilot Site Projects was to determine the flexibility and feasibility of utilizing CASAS in a 
variety of adult basic skills instructional locations coordinated through Iowa's com- 
munity colleges, A variety of pilot sites and community colleges were chosen to 
participate in the pilot test activities, The pilot test activities began in the fall of 1992 
and continued through the summer of 1996. This publication is the third report con- 
cerning statewide pilot test results, This publication contains the reports for all of the 
CASAS pilot projects, The community colleges involved in the CASAS pilot projects 

• Northeast Iowa Community College 

• Eastern Iowa Community College 

• Kirkwood Community College 

• Western Iowa Tech Community College 

• Indian Hills Community College 

• Southeastern Community College 

The collective perceptions of the pilot project reports indicated: 

• CASAS has a great degree of flexibility and adaptability in a variety of adult basic 
education classroom environments. 

• There appears to be a positive gain of 4-8 standard score points between pre 
and post-testing on the CASAS scale based on an overall average of 60 to 70 
hours of instruction. 

• The students appear to perform well with the CASAS system because of its com- 
petency based approach to instruction, curriculum and assessment. 

• The CASAS system has direct applicability to critical life and employability skills. 

The community colleges will continue pilot testing of CASAS to insure that CASAS 
retains the flexibility and adaptability which, to this point, has proven to be effec- 

The pilot project reports are divided by the colored divider pages bearing the 
name of each participating community college. This method allows the reader 
easy access to any report or appendix. 



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July 1995 - June 1996 

Submitted by: 

Mary L. Strom, Coordinator 
Adult Basic Education 
Northeast Iowa Community College 
700 Main Street Ste 1 
Dubuque, IA 52001-6820 

Pilot Site Teachers: 

Tammy O’Brien 
June Rovang 
Carlotta Schmidt 

CASAS Pilot Site Report 

Northeast Iowa Community College 
Dubuque/Calmar, Iowa 
July 15, 1996 

Northeast Iowa Community College was again pleased to have the opportunity for 
continuation of the CASAS Pilot Project in order to further explore the benefits of 
competency based education. A new Adult Basic Education teacher had much to 
learn about integrating assessment, curriculum and instruction. All teachers needed 
time to develop applied learning materials and experiment with methods which 
would engage the adult learner. 

I. Type of Location and Level of Students 

NICC continued the CASAS Pilot Project in two diverse sites. Site A was 
located in a sheltered workshop offering pre-employment skills and job 
training for 70 mentally challenged adults. Site B was located in an urban 
learning center offering open entry, open exit basic skills instruction to many 
Promise Jobs clients. Those selected for the pilot group were beginning and 
intermediate ABE learners with multiple barriers to achieving their 
educational goal. Problems which these students brought to class were loss 
of job, caring for and supporting children as a single parent, housing 
problems, emotional and physical health problems, family problems, and 
living on a limited income. These problems were reflected in sporadic 
attendance and a high drop-out rate. 

II. Number of Teachers and Learners 

One teacher facilitated learning at site A with nineteen learners voluntarily 
participating in assessment and instruction. These mentally challenged 
adults all had an individual program plan (EPP) with basic skills or life skills 
identified as a goal. Thirty-six hours of individual and small group 
instruction was offered. 

Two teachers facilitated learning at site B with instruction offered on a 
trimester basis. Seventy five instructional hours were scheduled for the 

summer session One hundred twenty instructional hours were scheduled for 
the fall and the spring session. Due to family and health problems, the 
learners who did not drop out attended approximately 45% of scheduled 
instructional hours. 

III. Types of CASAS Materials 

Curriculum materials were selected based on CASAS assessment scale 
scores, individual and group profiles, oral interview, a self-interest 
inventory, and individual's program plan. 

Site A Learners: 

Learners assessed at <200 (Level 2A-5A) on the CASAS scale learned best 
through hands-on instruction with real life objects. Applied learning was a 
part of every session. Teaching math skills in the context of consumer 
economics was a high priority. Competencies in which learners needed the 
most work were: 

1.1.6 Count, convert, and use coins and currency, and recognize 
symbols as ($) and (.). 

1 .5.2 Plan for major purchases. 

1.5.3 Interpret bills 

1.3.7 Interpret information or directions to locate merchandise. 

3.5.0 Understand basic principles of health maintenance. 

1.2.5 Interpret letters, articles, and information about consumer related 

Learners in this group made on-site visits to the grocery store and compared 
prices by unit price using the calculator. Learners enjoyed the Amusement 
Park Game by DLM which taught practical money skills. 

Publishers materials for the 2A - 5A groups included: 

* The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Monday, March 28, 1994 
Build Your Own Food Pyramid 

* U.S. Dept of Agriculture 
Food Guide Pyramid 


* New Readers Press 
Eating Right 

* Steck Vaughn 
Decisions For Health 

* Southwestern 

Budgeting Your Time and Money 

* DLM 

Moving Up in Money 
Amusement Park Game 
Functional Signs 

* SRA 

All Purpose Photo Library 

Site B Learners: (GIFTS) 

One of the first activities initiated at Site B was a discussion of the talents and 
abilities that each brought to class. As a result, CASAS Pilot class learners 
decided to rename the class GIFTS, Group Instruction For Talented Students! 

Materials were developed by the teacher to meet needs as indicated by the 
CASAS Life Skills assessment pre-test. The CASAS group profile provided 
direction for prioritizing and selecting curriculum materials based upon 
learner needs. Reading, writing, math, listening and speaking were integrated 
in a life skills and an employability context. Both contexts were addressed 
because of the make-up of the class. 

Attitude and self-esteem were also addressed. One teacher presented 
a series of lessons focused on what attitude is and how attitudes are 
produced, changed, and communicated. Learners realized that attitude 
impacts everything one does. Another teacher focused on self-esteem. 
Learners discussed topics such as how to get along with others, judging 
others and themselves, what makes “me” feel good, and the decision-making 

process. Learners and teachers developed a good rapport which fostered a 
positive learning environment. 

The local daily newspaper, USA Today and TV News Game were rich 
resources for both employability and life skill instruction. Realia included 
restaurant menus, maps, thermometers, parenting and health videos, and 
forms from many different sources (leases, banks, job service. Red Cross, 
store sales slip, and medical office). Community resource people made 
presentations one to two times each month. The topics for these 
presentations are listed below. 

“Rental Concerns” and “How To Deal With 
Housing Problems in a Positive Manner” 
by City of Dubuque Housing Department staff. 

“Understanding Young Children” 
by Mercy Health Center Education Department 

“Dealing with Stress” 
by Lutheran Social Services staff 

“Facts About Aids” 
by City of Dubuque Health Department 
“Facts About Cancer and Cancer Prevention” 
by Thomas Lally, MD 
Finley Hospital Wendt Cancer Center 

“Culture and Geography of Ireland” 
by Maxine Griep, Volunteer Tutor 

“Community Oriented Police System (COPS)” 
by Dubuque Police Dept 

“Gang Awareness” 
by Dubuque Police Dept 

“Information on First Aid” 
by Dubuque Chapter of American Red Cross 


During the first trimester, the teacher utilized the Family Literacy Curriculum 
developed by Piedmont Community College, Roxboro, North 
Carolina and marketed by CASAS. Life Skills with a family focus were 
especially appropriate for this group. 

Publishers and materials included are: 


Family Literacy Curriculum Design Manual 

Contemporary Books, Inc. 

Number Power 2-6 

Essential Skills for the Workplace 

Ready to Work “Winning at the Job Game” 

Communication Skills That Work Books 1 & 2 
Building Basic Skills in Reading 
Math Skills That Work Book 1 & 2 
Lifescenes: Reading and Writing for Comprehension 

Southwestern Publishing 
Self-Esteem and Getting Ahead 

Dale Seymour Publishing 

Mental Math in Daily Life 

Math Games and Activities by Shoecraft 

The Learning Works, Inc. 

U.S. Geography Journey 

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 
Reading Skills Workbook 

Steck Vaughn 

Maps & Globes & Graphs 2&3 
Life Skills for Today's World 
Values Library Series 
The Self-Esteem Library Series 
Decisions for Health . 1 & 2 




Daily Oral Language Series 

Richards & Taylor Video Productions 
Successful Parenting Series 1-3 

Medical Associates HMO Videos 
Health Education Series 

Other Materials 

OREGON 353 Ideas that Work for ABE 
PLATO Software by TRO Learning, Inc 

Fiddler on the Roof and Schindler’s List full length feature films 
(both films are referenced in the Pre-GED texts and learners need an 
understanding of their content.) 

IV. CASAS Assessment Instruments 

The CASAS Locator test for special populations was used to determine 
level of Site A, mentally challenged learners. Learners were subsequently 
pre-tested and post-tested with Level 2A, 3 A, 4A or 5A, Form 300 Series. 

The CASAS Life Skills Appraisal, Form 30, was used to determine level of 
Site A and Site B, beginning and intermediate learners. These students were 
pre-tested and post-tested with the Level A - D, Form 30 series. 

V. Results of Pre/Post Assessment 

Site A - Sheltered Workshop, Decorah 

*Number of students remaining in program who were pre/post 
tested as of June, 1996 19 . 

*Average contact hours in attendance 36 . 





♦Group I Levels 2A - 5A (Non Readers) 

Pre-test Post-test Gain 

182.8 185.7 +2.9 

Range of Scale Scores 

171 - 195 

♦Group 13 Levels A - D (Readers) 

Reading Pre-test Reading Post-test 
212.4 210.7 



Range Scale Scores - Reading 


Math Pre-test Math Post-test 

194 197.3 



Range Scale Scores - Math 


Site B Urban Learning Center - Dubuque (GIFTS) 

♦Number of students remaining in program who were 
pre/post tested as of June 1 996 13 . 

♦Average contact hours in attendance 54 . 

♦Average Life Skills Reading (Levels A - D) 

Pre-test Post-test Gain 

227.8 232.3 +4.5 

♦Average Life Skills Math (Levels A - D) 

Pre-test Post-test Gain 

215.5 222.2 +6.7 



*Range of Scale Scores Reading 21 1 - 247 

*Range of Scale Scores Math 195 - 249 

Attendance at Site A serving mentally challenged was very constant. 
Average attendance at Site B serving beginning and intermediate learners 
with multiple barriers was forty-five percent of scheduled instructional hours. 

VI. Adaptability of CASAS to ABE Learners 

Pilot site teachers agreed that CASAS which uses a scale score correlated to 
CASAS levels serves the gamut of ABE learners. 

VII. Interagency Cooperation: 

Cooperation at Site A, a sheltered workshop was supportive and positive. 
Administrative personnel at Site A workshop requested continuation of the 
pilot project. CASAS will be the assessment tool for present and incoming 
clients. Instruction and curriculum will be designed to meet student needs 
within the workshop educational component. 

The Dubuque Employment Service Workforce Center will continue to use the 
CASAS ECS 130 as a screening tool for referral to Basic Skills classes. 

JTPA uses the CASAS 400 series assessment for the JTPA Summer Youth 
Remediation project. The CASAS ECS is NOT currently used as an 
assessment tool in SDA8. 

VIII. Anecdotal Comments 

Site A, Sheltered Workshop, saw one learner moving to a supportive work 
environment and subsequently keeping a job in a supermarket. 

Site A learners made greater progress in math than reading. The instructor 
attributes this to a strong emphasis on math skill building related to money 
skills, comparative shopping and consumer related issues. 

Site B (GIFTS) learners appeared to have limited life experiences and with a 
limited knowledge base. They had not traveled outside of the tri-state area. 


They had limited exposure to literature and news print. It was necessary to 
spend time developing and understanding the vocabulary in which they were 
working. They did not understand the meaning of holocaust or detention 
camp in a certain article. To expand their knowledge the video Schindler’s 
List was viewed. This is one example of why it was necessary to enhance 
their base of knowledge. 

Learners requested presentations from community speakers. The topics 
chosen were by learner request. They learned to listen and were encouraged 
to ask questions. Discussing the issues became a group activity. Group 
discussion encouraged all participants to think, problem solve and 
communicate more effectively. 

Learners commented positively about group activities in the GIFTS class. 

• I learn from the other students. 

• I have a part in deciding what is studied. 

• Many examples are given when we learn something new. 

• lam not as confused. 

• I don’t understand directions when I read them to myself. In class we 
go over directions before we begin. 

• I need to have things explained more than once, and I can get that 
easier in the class. 

• I like working together on assignments. 

• I learned to be positive about life. 

• I learned how to be a better student. 

• The presentation on “Why I Like Myself’ helped me. 




Learners like feedback which shows progress in the form of point gain on a 
certificate. The GED is a long term goal and knowing that they are making progress 
keeps them motivated and coming. The CASAS system demonstrates movement by 
scale score far below the GED 

Teachers using the CASAS system need more opportunities to network and discuss 
integration of curriculum, assessment and instruction. A method or set of materials 
which works for one may also work for another. A mentoring system for new ABE 
teachers would enhance acceptance of the new assessment tool. Many ABE 
teachers continue to focus on workbook driven curriculum. Auditory learners 
benefit from group instruction. Learning disabled participants benefit from varied 
instructional techniques. ABE programs should continue to build in opportunities 
for applied learning. Staff development statewide would be enhanced in the areas of 
curriculum design and instruction. 

It is a challenge to catch ABE learners for post-tests. They are mobile and 
consumed with family and personal problems. Often they simply drop without 
informing the teacher. ABE staff must strive to build in a sense of responsibility. 

Pilot site teachers remain enthused about the flexibility of the CASAS system. They 
look forward to continuation using CASAS assessment tools, selecting curriculum to 
meet student needs and providing meaningful instruction. 

“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose 
sight of the shore for a very long time.” 

Andre Gide (1869-1951) 




Connecticut Visitation 




* . . .'T- 

Compiled by: Mary L. Strom, Coordinator 
Adult Basic Education 
Northeast Iowa Community College 
Dubuque, Iowa 

Submitted to: Dr. John Hartwig 

Bureau of Educational and Student Services 
Iowa Department of Education 


Iowa and Connecticut are similar in that they are both facing challenges in dealing with 
welfare reform and a workforce in transition. 

Connecticut lost its silver and brass manufacturing to Japan. The decline of the defense 
industry lead to the loss of submarine manufacturing. The state’s large insurance 
industries centered in Hartford downsized. Southern Connecticut shows one of the greatest 
income disparities in the nation with the city of Weston’s median household income at 
$104,500 and Bridgeport’s at $28,700. Increased numbers of dislocated workers have 
exhausted unemployment benefits and are likely to need retraining to enter the workforce. 
Female heads of households need affordable and accessible childcare. Two of three welfare 
recipients who want to work require basic skills instruction before they can enter job 
preparation or post high school education. 

Iowa has seen the decline of family farms. Manufacturing jobs have decreased and jobs in 
the lower paying service industry have increased. High household incomes tend to center 
in the state’s urban and university population areas. Rural Iowa reflects low to medium 
incomes. Twenty-five percent of Iowan’s lack basic skills needed for employment according 
to the Assessment of Basic Skills Competencies in Iowa’s Employment and Workforce 
Programs. 1995 . Impending changes in welfare reform laws require clients being placed in 
work before skills are upgraded. 

Economic development officials from Iowa and Connecticut are working to recruit business 
and industry in order to provide jobs for their citizens. A highly trained and educated 
workforce is a key factor when recruiting industry to a state. Both states have begun 
initiatives to reform adult education in order to prepare their workforce for a high tech era. 



With the onset of Workforce Development Centers on the horizon and changing objectives 
for welfare reform, Iowa’s Adult Basic Education programs are in transition and must 
prepare to meet changing needs. Iowa recently completed a norming study to prepare a 
customized assessment which will appraise workforce basic skills of its JTPA and Promise 
Jobs’ participants. 

As Iowa moves to co-location of human service agencies, it seems prudent to develop a 
Management Information System which will facilitate placement of clients and 
communicate in a common language across agencies which serve economically 
disadvantaged adults. A strong professional network among stakeholders who serve 
economically disadvantaged and undereducated adults must be developed and maintained. 
This will encourage efficiency in order to meet client needs while avoiding duplication of 

It seemed wise to visit the State of Connecticut which has adopted a competency based 
Adult Education system as a potential indicator of program quality based on the CASAS 
System. The Connecticut Competency System appraisal is part of client intake in the 
programs of Adult Education, Department of Labor (JTPA) and Income Maintenance. 
This uniform competency system allows for articulated client movement among programs 
and provides common assessment vocabulary which minimizes duplication and 
unnecessary testing. 

A computerized data management system is in place. The Department of Education took 
the lead in development and financed the project. Other stakeholders may buy into the 

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded Connecticut the first of six competitive national 
grants for developing a network of one-stop career centers. The Connecticut Department 
of Labor, the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission and the State’s nine 
Regional Workforce Development Boards designed the one-stop Career Centers. Nineteen 
full-service one-stop Career Centers are opening in 1996. This multi-partner system creates 
a core of basic services that are available statewide with regional enhancement. Education 
has a higher profile and was one of the first players to come aboard as a partner at the 

Partners in the one-stop Career Centers have created a strong professional network 
through Project BUILD (Building Unified Interagency Leadership Development.) They 
participate in team building activities, client referral programs and management 
information system training. 

The purpose of the May, 1996, visit to Connecticut was to explore how Connecticut has 
developed their accountability system and how they measure progress of adult learners. 
Can Iowa benefit by examining the way Connecticut is doing business and what makes it 




successful? In what aspects are Iowa and Connecticut similar but different? Mary L. 
Strom, ABE Coordinator, Northeast Iowa Community College, Dubuque and certified state 
level CASAS trainer for Iowa represented Iowa for this visit. Sites visited are listed on 
page five. 



I. To research how Connecticut has adopted CASAS for their state system and 
look at ways they are similar and different than Iowa. 

n. To examine how Connecticut has built in accountability and measurement of 
progress across the spectrum of agencies which serve economically and 
educationally disadvantaged adults. 

ITT . To explore characteristics of the Connecticut system which lead to a positive 
interagency environment and success. 





Department of Education 
25 Industrial Park Road 
Middletown, Connecticut 

Roberta Pawloski, State Director 
J. Ronald Harrison, Consultant 
Adult Education & Training 
Sally Connolly, Project Manager 
Coordinated Education and 
Training Opportunities (CETO) 

Jonathon Stone 
One-Stop Career Center 
Enfield, Connecticut 

Workforce Education Meeting 
Valley Regional Adult Education 
Shelton, Connecticut 

Lee Wolf, Program Facilitator 
Reina R. Marasco, Director 

Ralph Cerrato, Director 
Enfield Adult Education 
Enfield, Connecticut 

The Workplace, Inc. 

(St. Peter’s Lutheran Church site) 
Southwestern Connecticut’s Regional 
Workforce Development Board 
(previously the Private Industry Council 
of SW Connecticut) 

Bridgeport, Connecticut 

Sharon Nechasek, CETO 

Joyce Barclay, Program Management Specialist 

Capitol Region Education Council 

Adult Training & Development Network 

Hartford, Connecticut 

Andy Tyskiewicz, Project Manager 

Applied Engineering Products 
New Haven, CT 

Nicholas Lavarato, Education Coordinator 






Part 1. Adoption of Competency-Based Adult Education 

In 1985, the Connecticut State Board of Education endorsed a recommendation stating 
that all adult basic skills programs adopt a competency based approach by 1990. Funding 
would flow to competency based programs only. 

Subsequently in 1986, the Connecticut Department of Education’s Bureau of Adult 
Education and Training began a statewide improvement initiative to enhance the quality of 
basic skills services provided to adults in the state. This was a five year initiative known as 
the Connecticut Adult Performance Program (CAPP). A competency-based approach was 
chosen to meet needs regarding Adult Basic Education services and is summarized briefly 

• To have a comprehensive adult basic skills program which integrates functional life 
skills with academic skills. 

• To establish a program management system that provides information for program 
accountability and funding needs. 

• To increase performance of learners participating in ABE programs. 

• To execute a long-term goal for an articulated system progressing from ABE to 
high school completion to job training programs. 

Connecticut’s Adult Education System is driven by state funds. State law mandates every 
school district to offer Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, Citizenship and 
English-as-a-Second Language. Every school district receives grant money to deliver adult 
education and the grant must have local cash match. Reimbursement from business and 
industry counts as cash match. Increased local cash match generates additional state 
funds for the local program. 

There are seven formalized Adult Education Regions in Connecticut. These Regional Adult 
Education programs are a consortium of towns with a lead district as fiscal agent for 
services. Within these 7 regions, 62 school districts and 35 other agencies offer adult 
education services. Literacy Volunteers of America operate independently from ABE. 

Valley Regional Adult Education in Shelton is located in the vacated B.F. Goodrich factory. 
It is from this site that ABE/GED, ESL, Workplace Literacy, citizenship, computer and 
nurse aid training through Coordinated Education and Training Opportunities (CETO) 
are delivered to residents of five area towns. 

Valley Regional, as a satellite center, is staffed by a director (similar to Iowa’s 
coordinators), a counselor and a program facilitator. The role of the program facilitator 
(an experienced instructor) is to provide support to instructors for placement assessment, 
instruction, learner diagnosis and competency validation. This has encouraged local 

7 24 


programs to implement new or to refine existing activities. The facilitator may or may not 
teach. All learners enrolling in an Adult Education program go through the Connecticut 
Competency System (CCS) assessment process in life skills, employability skills or ESL. 

The program facilitator administers and corrects the appraisals and pre/post tests. A 
statistical clerk inputs registration and testing information into the computer. Diskettes 
with program statistics are mailed to the Department of Education’s computer vender for 
compilation each semester. 

Valley Regional has been very active in the area of workplace literacy. Their program is 
marketed as “Partnerships for Progress”. Valley Regional developed a comprehensive 
Workplace Literacy curriculum guide with 353 funding. Programs and services have been 
provided to eleven companies which include Mobil Chemical Corporation, Sikorsky 
Aircraft and Thule of Sweden. Most of the workplace programs are brought into business 
and industry as ABE and ESL. Computer training for business and industry is brought 
into the high school’s computer labs. Valley Regional staff do a literacy audit and 
customize instruction. 

In contrast, Iowa’s ABE program is delivered through its community college system 
comprised of fifteen colleges. Iowa’s delivery system appears to be more efficient. There 
appears to be more consistency, networking, collaboration and cooperation among 
programs. This encourages sharing of ideas and processes for program improvement. 

Iowa’s decision to move to competency-based education came from the field. It was a 
proactive decision based upon the goals of the National Literacy Act of 1991. These goals 
specified a type of comprehensive delivery system providing a proven record of 
accountability, non-duplication of services and a delivery system that provides quality 
instruction to the clientele. Iowa’s “Literacy/ABE Vision 2000” states that every ABE 
student’s learning gains will be measured in terms of student outcomes and specific 
quantifiable competencies. Each student will receive a transcript of outcome based 
competencies with the specific level of achievement for each competency. Certificates of 
Achievement will be awarded to ABE students for attainment of predetermined levels of 
performance in selected subject areas. Iowa’s ABE coordinators endorsed this vision and 
the implementation of competency-based education is underway. 

Iowa used a research based approach to determine basic skill needs as it began an ABE 
program improvement initiative in 1993. Iowa began by surveying all stakeholders affected 
by ABE programs. Iowa developed the Iowa Basic Skills Survey (LABSS) based on eight 
CASAS content areas and 55 competencies. The CASAS competencies were chosen 
because it is the most comprehensive list of competencies that has been validated for adults. 

In the fall of 1993, 9700 surveys were sent to businesses and industries, participatory 
planning committees, employment training providers, learners, ABE/GED/ESL instructors, 
community agency contact persons and other interested parties. Response rate was 36% 
which provided a good research base. This LABSS survey provided documentation for 


direction in order to design a competency based model which reflect accountability and 

The CASAS System seems to complement the existing community college delivery system. 
It is comprehensive in that assessment tools are available to assess the full range of ABE 
learners in Iowa’s programs. CASAS is a system which integrates assessment with 
curriculum and instruction. 

Since ABE in Iowa is delivered through the community college system, the Department of 
Education looked at other states with similar systems. The state of Oregon is similar to 
Iowa in demographics and also delivers ABE through a community college system. In 
September, 1992, Iowa invited Sharlene Walker, Specialist, Curriculum and Development 
to share Oregon’s competency-based ABE model with Iowa’s ABE coordinators and 
department of education consultants. Oregon’s model was reviewed and nine ABE 
programs began a pilot study in the fall of 1992. The CASAS model has proven to be 
flexible and adapted well to Iowa’s needs. Fourteen of Iowa’s fifteen community college 
ABE programs have implemented the CASAS model in all or parts of their ABE programs. 

Part 2. Adoption of a Competency Based Assessment Tool 

Connecticut worked with CASAS consultants to develop the Connecticut Competency 
System (CCS) appraisal. This is the CASAS assessment customized for Connecticut’s ABE 
learners. This system includes a Reading and Math Appraisal (Placement) instrument as 
well as ESL Listening and Reading Appraisal (Placement) instruments. 

The survey achievement (Pre/Post Test) instruments used are the CASAS ECS or Life 
Skills battery. The exit level tests (CALS) are customized for Connecticut’s learners. The 
assessments predominately in use with scale score accuracy range are as listed below: 

CAPP Reading Tests 
(Math is incorporated in 

All ABE students 
overall score) 


ECS 30 Reading 

ABE students instructed 
in employability context 


CALS Math 

ABE students 

172 - 257 

CALS Reading 

ABE students 

170 - 259 

CCS Listening 

LEP students 


CCS Reading 

LEP students 




Connecticut has developed certification tests for level and program exit. Special Needs 
Assessments for cognitively challenged adults with developmental impairments are in use. 
These are the 2A - 5A series with a scale score range of 134 - 198. 

Connecticut has not benchmarked its ABE learnrs in correlation to the CASAS scale. 
Connecticut uses the CASAS national level descriptions and scale score correlation for ABE 
Basic Skills levels. 

In 1995, the Iowa Department of Education released the Assessment of Basic Skills 
Competencies in Iowa’s Employment and Workforce Pro 2 rams . This comparative study 
was done to determine which assessment tool might most effectively assess the IABSS 
competencies deemed priority by Business and Industry and Employment Service 
Providers. Findings show a high correlation between the CASAS ECS 130 competencies 
and skills listed as top/high priority for employment service providers. Iowa will use the 
ECS 130 to assess basic skills for its workforce population. A number of Workforce 
Employment Centers and JTPA programs in the state have already adopted the ECS 130 
as part of the intake process for referral to a basic skills program. Iowa uses the CASAS 
national level descriptions and scale score correlation for its ABE Basic Skill levels. 


8 ? 


The vision in 1986 for the Connecticut Adult Performance Program (CAPP) was to 
transform the state’s adult education program into an articulated system in which adults 
would progress from basic skills instruction to high school equivalency completion and into 
job training program through a cross-referral of clients. An enhanced ABE system was 
expected to result in improved coordination and an integrated approach to delivery of 
adult education services in the state. It was assumed that systematic assessment procedures 
incorporated into the basic skill delivery system would lead to an improved accountability 

The Bureau of Adult Education appointed a CAPP coordinator to serve as a general 
resource to programs adopting the CAPP Model. The Bureau provided financial incentives 
to ABE programs implementing CAPP. 

In 1988, the federal JOBS program mandated the participation of AFDC recipients in basic 
skills programs as a condition for receipt of special benefits. At this time the Department of 
Income Maintenance (DIM) which administers the JOBS program entered into an 
agreement with the Department of Adult Education to train DIM care managers to 
determine need for basic skills instruction. These JOBS clients were referred to ABE 
programs based on CAPP Assessment Scale Scores that could be used by ABE staff for 
placement in instruction. 

Currently, in 1996, the Connecticut Competency System (CCS) appraisal is administered 
as part of the intake process in all Department of Education basic skill programs, 
Department of Labor (JTPA), Social Service (DIM) and Corrections programs. The 
Reading and Math appraisal goes to 260 on the CASAS scale which is a wide range and 
suits multiple agencies for assessment purposes. 

In 1989, to promote interagency cooperation, Connecticut initiated the Coordinated 
Education and Training Opportunities (CETO) collaboration. CETO tries to bridge the 
gap between education and training. It is a linking and coordinating network with a 
project manager located within the Department of Education. The CETO project manager 
works closely with the state consultant for education and training and state director of 
education. These individuals are co-located and communicate on a regular basis. CETO 
reports to the State Department of Education which reports back to the Department of 

CETO was designed to bring together programs which address the needs of Connecticut’s 
most disadvantaged populations. CETO brings together federal funds under the Perkins 
Vocational and Technology Amendments of 1990, Single Parent/Displaced Homemaker, 
JTPA 8%, Community-Based organization (CBO), Adult Education Act and Department 
of Social Services. At the local level, CETO is implemented through the local workforce 
development boards. 




Evidence of the CETO initiative was found at the Workplace, Inc. sponsored culinary arts 
training program located in the basement of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Norwalk, 
Connecticut (see attachment 1). This 360 hour culinary arts program prepares students to 
work in fine dining restaurants, catering, companies, casinos, cruise ships, etc. Project 
entry criteria include a CCS Reading Level of 233 and a CCS Math Level of 216. A chef 
from the Connecticut Culinary Institute is the instructor and a “traveling kitchen” comes 
with the instructor. Life skills/career preparation and job seeking skills are provided by 
JTPA and ABE. There are 8 culinary arts programs in the state with an 86% placement 

Nineteen Connecticut Works/One-Stop Centers are scheduled to be operating by the end of 
1996. These One-Stop Centers were designed by Connecticut’s Department of Labor 
(DOL) and 9 Regional Workforce Development Boards to coordinate varied job 
development services. The State Department of Education issued requests for proposals 
on May 15, 1996 for the purpose of facilitating partnerships between providers of 
mandated adult education and One-Stop Centers. The amount is for approximately $4- 
$5,000 per site. Included in the requirements for proposals are direct services for students 
to include any of the following: assessment, counseling or instruction. Recommended 
projects for proposals include the following: provide inservice to Connecticut Works staff 
on adult education activities and resources, familiarize adult education teachers and 
students with Connecticut Works, administer the GED predictor at Connecticut Works, 
and/or provide mandated adult education classes on site. Education will be a key player in 
the One-Stop system. 

The Enfield One-Stop Career Center opened just before my May visit. The One-Stop 
Center will provide customer intake, evaluation, basic skill assessment, referral to and 
placements in appropriate programs, (attachment 2) The CCS appraisal is administered 
by One-Stop stafT as part of the intake process. Adult Education stafT go to the One-Stop 
on a designated day each week to meet with referrals needing ABE services. GED classes 
are offered on site two mornings each week. A counselor offers assistance for registering 
for GED, ESL or vocational technical classes. This One-Stop has a resource center which 
promotes Adult Basic Education through posters and brochures. The resource center has 
work stations for clients. Resources available to clients include use of a computer with Win 
Way Resume software, printer, electric typewriter, paper, envelopes, copier, fax machine, 
newspapers from major cities in a reading area. Eight telephone kiosks are available for 
long distance calls. Clients are expected to use these phones for job seeking calls only. This 
One-Stop Center was “user friendly” and gave a positive impression, i.e. we are here to 
help you get a job! Enfield One-Stop staff utilize Project BUILD for training in adult 
learning and team building. 

Clients might be referred from the Enfield One-Stop Center to education and training 
services offered through Enfield Adult Education on site at Fermi High School in Enfield. 
A full range of Adult Education services in 



Enfield Adult Education Director, Ralph Cerrato, has offices in the lower level of Fermi 
High School. His support staff consists of a secretary who is responsible for taking 
statistical information from the student enrollment form and inputting it into the new PC- 
AEDBMS 2.0 system. Local statistics which are tabulated include gender, ethnicity, CCS 
scores and all necessary information for federal reporting. The local statistics are sent on 
floppy disk back to a private computer company and uploaded to an AS400 where 
Department of Education reports are generated. The State Department of Education 
contracted with a private provider for data management services. The PC-AEDBMS 2.0 
system has the capability of printing 27 reports. Especially helpful are student mailing lists 
issued by zip code and class rosters or by demographics such as “those unemployed upon 
enrollment.” Another helpful report is the “student course history report,” a list by 
student of class start and stop dates with hours attended. Another frequently requested 
report is “class roster by assessment scores.” 

This new system for data management provides complete student data quickly and may be 
sent with the student to the cooperating referral agency. This new system makes it possible 
to look at statistical information by individual learner, site, and regional or statewide 





The near-term vision for the Connecticut Adult Performance Program (CAPP) was to have 
an enhanced adult basic skills program. This was expected to result in improved 
coordination between adult education programs and job training programs. It was to be 
an integrated approach for the delivery of adult education service in the state. The Bureau 
of Adult Education created a support system consisting of centralized staff development 
and technical assistance services. The Bureau contracted for services (using 353 monies) 
with the Connecticut Adult Education Staff Development Center (now the Adult Training 
and Development Network). 

The StafT Development Center provided training in competency-based adult education, 
developed an Adult Educator Summer Institute, published a newsletter for adult educators 
and provided other training and technical assistance. 

The Staff Development Center’s training model evolved to include training for CAPP 
stakeholders in welfare and job training agencies. As it is now known, the “Adult Training 
and Development Network” (ATDN) is a centralized approach to adult education staff 
development. ATDN is a program of the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) in 
Hartford, CT. CREC is similar to the Area Education Agency in Des Moines. The 
Literacy Resource Center materials are located at the site also and is staffed by an 
information specialist. The Adult Training and Development Network is staffed by five 

The ATDN provides training in administering the CCS assessments to all cooperating 
agencies. Technical assistance is provided to local programs by request. ATDN plans and 
facilitates a three-day summer institute which is open to all collaborating human service 
agencies. Representatives from Evenstart, Headstart, LVA, Catholic Family Services and 
YWCA Family Literacy are among summer institute participants. The institute promotes 
interagency networking and program sharing. ATDN publishes ATDN INSIGHTS , a 
quarterly newsletter for anyone who works with adults. This publication assists in creating 
awareness of literacy issues among all stakeholders in the adult education field. Articles 
profile exemplary educators and teaching techniques. Grant writing is also done by ATDN 

A new professional development initiative of the Bureau of Adult Education and Training 
is Project BUILD (Building Unified Interagency Leadership Development). Project BUILD 
is a program coordinated through ATDN. A grant to the State Department of Education 
from the National Institute for Literacy provided initial funding for the project. Project 
BUILD represents over thirty agencies, including social services, volunteers, adult 
education, employment and training, corrections, vocational technical schools and others. 
Project BUILD assists participants to gain comprehensive understanding of other agencies 
objectives, strengths and needs. Participants develop specific training skills, learn team 
building skills and increase their knowledge of literacy related issues. Project BUILD work 
teams present sensitivity and team building activities . These may be in the form of 



outdoor adventure training or role-play exercises. Participants state that they have become 
more sensitive to adult learners’ needs. Project BUILD work teams work to develop 
solutions to issues facing human service organizations. Application to BUILD membership 
is through a class and there is a training fee. Members are then expected to participate in 
at least one monthly activity. Examples of activities are product development and how to 
run focus groups. Through Project BUILD, members have created a strong professional 
network for exchanging ideas and sharing information. It has improved client referral 

The pilot phase of Project BUILD was completed in late fall, 1995. This team building 
process is now being repeated for a new set of representatives from various agencies. It was 
a success! 




Connecticut started their initiative for ABE program improvement almost six years before 
Iowa. Connecticut has had time to refine and polish its efforts and changes. Refining and 
polishing continues in all aspects of program improvement. Iowa can learn from 
Connecticut that program improvement is a continuous effort in order to result in quality 
improvement. To be successful these programs must meet the need of welfare reform and a 
workforce in transition. 

Connecticut’s process for implementing the CCS system was thorough and resources were 
devoted to make this happen. It’s important to note that a program facilitator (an 
experienced instructor) is on staff at each ABE satellite center for the purpose of providing 
support to instructors for CCS assessment, instruction, learner diagnosis and competency 
validation. This was a key factor in having local programs implement and refine the CCS 

Connecticut has funded training and development positions at the statewide Adult 
Training and Development Network for the purpose of developing training modules and 
materials, and providing CCS instruction and training to teachers in the field. These staff 
developers do NOT have ABE program coordination duties for a region. Training is timely 
and consistent in philosophy . Materials are uniform and updated. Trainers are located on 
site at the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC). Staff developers for K-12 education 
are also located at this site. This promotes cooperation, networking and coordination for 
common stafT development activities which might be shared by K-12 and adult education. 
Articulation in the area of stafT development is more likely to occur. Co-location is cost 
effective. Adult Literacy Resource Center is also located in CREC. Clearly this has 
afTected ABE program improvement in a positive manner. If Iowa moves toward 
implementing CASAS across agencies and developing certification, more resources should 
be devoted to education and training at the local program levels. Iowa might benefit by 
reviewing needs in the area of ABE staff training. 

The Project BUILD initiative is exemplary and effective in building communication and 
interagency networking. Iowa would benefit from adopting this model as it moves toward 
interagency collaboration. 



attachment 1 


REVISED 3/14/96 
To extend referral period and 
start and end dates 





Connecticut Culinary Institute 
1 20.545A 
Culinary Arts - NTO 

DOT CODE: 313.131.014 

TRAINING utsumr nun. Graduates will be prepared to work in fine dining restaurants, catering 
companies, casinos, health care dining facilities cruise ships, business and industry dining, college 
and preparatory school dining facilities and other high quality food-related positions. 

NOTE- The last two weeks of class will be spent on Intense job search with daily attendance required. 

Knife Skills/Tools 

of the Trade 




Basic Recipe Repertoire 

1 20 hrs 

80 hrs 

Finishing Work/Presentation 
Career Preparation/ 

60 hrs 

40 hrs 

Life Skills 

50 hrs 

Intense Job Search Activity 

10 hrs 




10 calendar weeks per cycle 
2 calendar weeks at end 

5_ slots per cycle 

4 min. HTS slots per cycle 

35 hours per week 
5 classroom hours per week 



Referrals Begin: 
Referrals End: 
Training Starts: 
Training Ends: 

first 10 weeks: 
last 2 weeks: 

1 training cycles 





9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (lunch included) 
job search activities with daily 
classroom attendance required 



1 . Female 

2. 22 years of age 

3. 233 CCS Reading Level 

4. 216 CCS Math Level 

1 . High level of motivation 

2. Adequate manual dexterity 

j. PAYMENT TO PARTICIPANTS: Transportation: 

Child Care: 

Use of public transportation 
Up to $10 per day 

k OTHER PROGRAM INFORMATION: 100% attendance required. This is an intensive program which requires 

' a serious effort on the part of the student. Those who are unsure of their ability to make a firm commitment 
should wait until their schedules are clear. 



St. Peter’s Lutheran Church 
208 Newtown Avenue 
Norwalk, Connecticut 

0 ' 


Julie Barrett, Case Manager 
Jim Monroe, Training Supervisor 
(860) 677-7869 or 1-800-762-4337 
FAX: (860) 676-0679 



attachment 2 

Connecticut’s One-Stop Career Center System 

Fact Sheet 

Connecticut’s One-Stop Career Center 
system will address the workforce development 
needs of the state, its residents and its employers 
in a globally competitive way. Designed by the 
Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL), the 
Connecticut Employment and Training 
Commission (CETC) and the state's nine 
Regional Workforce Development Boards, One- 
Stop Career Centers will offer a comprehensive 
and integrated system. 

Nineteen full-service One-Stop Career Centers 
will open in 1996 to provide high quality, customer 
driven, and universally accessible education and 
training services. Services and information will 
also be available through satellite locations 
connected to a computer network of job listings, 
labor market trends, and training opportunities. 

Universality, integration, customer 
choice and accountability drive the 

# With the goal of universality, Centers are 
designed to ensure that everyone who enters the 
Center will be served in some way. 

* Integration with other employment training, 
and support services means that people will no 
longer have to travel from agency to agency to 
receive all the information they need. 

* Customer choice will allow customers 
flexibility in gaining information and services. 

# Accountability for outcomes, processes, and 
customer satisfaction focuses the work of the 

Services available to job seekers will include 
career assessment; job openings; seminars; 
testing; job search assistance; counseling; 
retraining; enrollment in job training, pre- 
vocational and basic skills training, GED 
preparation, school-to-work, English as a second 
language, summer youth on-the-job training 
programs; support services; case management; 
life management skills; unemployment claims; 
and referrals to community services. 

Services available to employers will include 
posting job openings; recruiting, screening, and 
referring candidates for jobs and apprenticeships; 
customized job training and on-the-job training 

Key elements of One-Stop Career 

♦ Easy access to information and services. 
All services will be available or accessible at the 
Centers. Customers will be able to access them 
by phone, by computer, or by visiting Centers. 
Self-service kiosks will be available both in the 
Centers and in the community, and other satellite 
locations will be linked to services via computer. 

♦ Customer-oriented service. Old-fashioned 
customer service has never gone out of style and 
will be an on-going focus. 

# Capacity building. Staff development and 
professional growth will promote a high 
performance organization. 

* Collaborative structure. Centers will build 
partnerships with other state departments (e.g. 
Social Services, Economic Development, Higher 
Education, Education) and regional service * 
providers (e.g. chambers of commerce, 
community based organizations, municipal 
departments) to include their services. This multi- 
partner system will create a core of basic services 
that will be available statewide with regional 

# A Management partnership, formed by each 
region’s DOL Job Center and Regional Workforce 
Development Board directors, will oversee the 
development and operations of the One-Stop 

Connecticut will build a world class workforce 
development system with innovative policy and 
programming. One-Stop Career Centers are 
funded by a grant from the United States 
Department of Labor. 

For more information about One-Stop Career 
Centers, call Adele DeFrancesco, Project 
Coordinator, at (203) 566-2533. 

Eastern Iowa Community 
College District 


Compiled by: 

Submitted to: 

Cheryl Wheeler, ABE Coordinator 

Dr. John Hartwig 

Judy Potts, ESL Instructor 

Bureau of Community Colleges 

Sharon Mooney, ABE Instructor 

Iowa Department of Education 

Clinton Community College 

Clinton, Iowa 

JULY 1996 

Clinton Community College 
Page 1 



In the adult non-credit ESL program held at Clinton Community College, each 
student (above the pre-literacy level) entering the program in 1995-96 was given the 
CASAS ESL Appraisal Form 10 listening and reading tests. 

This test was used to help place the students at the proper reading levels of 






1. Getting Started 

2. Consumer Information 

3. Health and Safety 

4. Life in the United States 

Clinton Community College 
Page 2 


Direct To You 

Real-life materials brought in to augment each text unit 

Field trips when applicable to text units 


ESL Appraisal Form 10 
Listening tests 

Level B Listening Form 53 
Level B Listening Form 54 
Level C Listening Form 55 
Level C Listening Form 56 
Reading tests 

Level A Reading Form 31 
Level A Reading Form 32 
Level B Reading Form 33 
Level B Reading Form 34 
Level C Reading Form 35 
Level C Reading Form 36 

Clinton Community College 
Page 3 



Fourteen students were given both the appraisal and pre-tests. Of these, only 


seven were able 

to take part in the post-testing. 




Student A 




Student A 




Student A 



Student B 



Student C 



Student D 



Student E 



+ = score higher than conversion chart scaled score 

For many of my students the idea of being tested was very traumatic, especially 
the listening portion of the test. 

Clinton Community College 
Page 4 








Skyline Center is a non-profit sheltered workshop for the developmentally 
disabled adult. Skyline’s goal is to train clients to go into the community in supportive 
or competitive employment. 


Forty-two clients participated in this pilot. Their ages range from 28 to 45. The 
clients, or their guardians, request academic classes. Participation is voluntary. 


Clinton Community College provides and ABE instructor for 7.5 hours per week 
for approximately 28 weeks. Groups range in size from 3 to 8 members. Groupings 
were determined by the CASAS Locator Tests. Not all group members participated in 
the pilot due to lack of language skills or late entry into the program. 

Clinton Community College 
Page 5 


Contact hours were dictated by three factors: 1) the amount of time allotted for 
instruction by Clinton Community College, 2) the number of individuals requesting 
academic instruction, and 3) scheduling considerations. Individual contact hours were 
also affected by individual absences. 

AAAA-AA Approximately 18.5 hours A-C Approximately 21 hours 


The Contemporary and Steck-Vaughn materials guides were used as a 
framework for levels A - C. The materials guides were adequate for groups A-C. 
However, I found that lessons were usually too long to complete in one forty-five 
minute class. Carrying a lesson over to another class period seemed to result in loss 
of interest and effectiveness. I would usually shorten the lesson so that it could be 
completed in one class period. Basically, printed material is useful as a framework, 
but instruction always requires additional real-life materials. 

Materials for levels AAAA - AA were primarily teacher-developed. It would 
certainly be helpful to have materials specifically designed for the non-reading low- 
functioning adult. Printed lessons for this population should be designed to be 
completed in a short period of time, and would repeat basic skill materials in a variety 
of ways that would be attractive to the student who needs endless repetition. 

Clinton Community College 

Page 6 




Pre-testing took place in the spring of 1995. Classes are not in session during 
the summer. Since I began teaching after the beginning of the school term (late 
October), I had been trained in the CASAS program by the teacher proceeding me, 
Claudia Fry. When administering the post-test, I felt the test was too long and many 
of the items were unrelated to materials covered in lessons that had been taught. I 
felt this was especially true of groups AAAA - AA. For groups A - C, it appeared that 
all of the students simply went through the test without reading it. It appeared they 
were simply marking answers randomly. They all finished in about 15 minutes. 


An instrument which could help those instructing the severely developmentally 
impaired adult determine individual competencies and deficiencies is certainly needed. 
The locator test does seem to be helpful in grouping students so that skill levels are 
similar. In my opinion, adjustments are needed on the tests so that they could be truly 
useful to those working with the developmentally impaired adult and CASAS is on the 
right track. The implementation of the curriculum, however, is complex and the best of 
circumstances requires a team approach, a great deal of teacher preparation, and the 
application of those lifeskills in the students everyday lives. 

Clinton Community College 
Page 7 










+ 5 


. 148 


+ 2 





- 9 




- 5 




+ 5 




+ 5 




- 9 




- 22 




- 9 





- 4 




- 3 




- 14 




- 20 




- 14 




+ 10 




- 6 




- 11 





- 20 





+ 17 





- 7 

|er|c 44 

Clinton Community College 
Page 8 


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CASAS Pilot Site Report 
Kirkwood Community College 
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Submitted by 
Kay Nebergall, Manager 

Adult High School Completion/Adult Basic Education 
July 15, 1996 

During the past three years, Kirkwood Community College has participated in a 
statewide project designed to explore the appropriateness of competency-based 
education for adult basic education students in Iowa. The CASAS (Comprehensive 
Adult Student Assessment) system continued to be the primary means used to assess 
functional life skills and employability skills of selected basic skills students. Learner- 
centered curriculum and evaluation were integral components of this CASAS project. 

CASAS Pilot Sites and Student Levels 

Community colleges participating in the CASAS pilot project were asked to select 
diverse class sites and target audiences when assessing the feasibility of using this 
system in Iowa. As participants in this project, Kirkwood selected 1.) 20 special needs 
adults who attended an ABE class at a community site, and 2.) 10 mainstream 
intermediate ABE adult students who attended structured basic mathematics classes at 
a Kirkwood learning center in a metropolitan site. 

All special needs adults were engaged in either supported or competitive employment; 
most lived in supervised, community-based homes. Ages ranged from 18 to 50. 

The learning center students were all employed at least part-time, and attended the 
math class to improve their life skills and their opportunities to earn a GED diploma. 
Students in the class ranged in age from 14 to 56. 

Number of Students, Teachers, and Support Personnel Involved 

CASAS Life Skills pre- and post-tests were administered to a total of 21 students 
enrolled in the targeted classes: 16 students were ABE Level I students, and 5 
students were ABE Level II students. 

The instructor of the adult students with special needs attended the CASAS initial 
implementation training offered in the fall of 1993 through the Iowa Department of 
Education. The other instructor was trained in the use of the CASAS system by the 
Kirkwood ABE Manager and other instructors who used the CASAS system. This 
instructor also had opportunities to observe assessment administration and become 
familiar with the Curriculum Materials Guide. Each instructor attended a local 
orientation to the CASAS Employability Competency System (ECS). 

CASAS Pilot Site Report 
Kirkwood Community College 
Page 2 

Support personnel included staff at Iowa Western Community College who used the 
CASAS Micro-Management System (CMMS) to computer scan and score student 
answer sheets mailed from Kirkwood. 

Curricula Used 

After having participated in the CASAS pilot project for the past two years, instructors 
have become more familiar with CASAS competencies and with the selection of 
materials that address those competencies. During this pilot process, priority has been 
placed on ordering materials that correlate to CASAS life skills and employability 
contexts, such as those listed in the CASAS Curriculum Materials Guide, the Steck- 
Vaughn Guide to Competency-Based Education, and the Contemporary Books’ 
Correlation to CASAS. This year, the CASAS instructors were more satisfied and 
familiar with the resources available to them and took the initiative to seek out new 
materials. They were sensitive to the need to address the multiple learning styles of 
their basic skills students, and continued using computer software to supplement their 

Additional resources that have provided appropriate supplement to CASAS classroom 
instruction are as follows: 

Micro Paws - South Western Publishing Company 

Homonyms - Hartley 

Rhyming Families - Hartley 

Word Ladders - Hartley 

That’s My Job - Hartley 

Skills Bank II - CTB-McGraw-Hill Publishing Company 

Laubach Way to Reading - New Readers Press 

Tutorial Comprehension - American School Publishers 

Vocabulary Connection - Steck-Vaughn 

Team Series - Davidson 

Spell It - Davidson 

Spell It Plus - Davidson 

Practice Assertive Conversation Skills - Substance Abuse Education Inc. 
Comprehension Connections - Milliken 
Reading for Today Series - Steck-Vaughn 

Math Solutions: Problem Solving, Tools, and Applications - New Readers Press 
Math Solutions: Decimal, Fractions, Ratios, and Percents - New Readers Press 
Whole Numbers and Money - New Readers Press 

CASAS Pilot Site Report 
Kirkwood Community College 
Page 3 

CASAS Assessment 

The CASAS Adult Life Skills Special Education locator test, Form 350, was used with 
the ABE Level I students. These students were pre-tested with Level AA, Form 310, 
or with Level AAA, Form 320. They were post-tested with Level AA, Form 31 1 or with 
Level AAA, Form 321 . 

The CASAS Adult Life Skills Appraisal, Form 30, mathematics, was used with the adult 
secondary students. Results from the appraisal prescribed a range of pre-tests Forms 
31 through 35 in mathematics, and a range of post-tests Forms 32 through 36 in 

Results of Pre- and Post-Testing 

The CASAS special needs adults attended a 2 and 1/2 hour adult basic education 
class that met once a week for approximately 30 weeks. The number of hours of 
instruction between pre- and post-testing for this group was 60-80 hours, with a scaled 
score gain of 3.8. 

Not all learning gains are reflected in this scaled score gain. The instructor of these 
ABE Level I students commented that because of repeated CASAS testing, students' 
text anxiety was reduced. Students were more relaxed and positive towards CASAS 
post-testing than they were for the initial testing. Post-testing offered the students an 
enjoyable opportunity to demonstrate mastered competencies and reinforce positive 

The ABE Level II mathematics students attended a 1 hour class held 4 days a week 
for 8 weeks. The number of hours of instruction between pre- and post-testing for this 
group was 25 to 35, with a scaled score gain of 9.2. For these students, testing was 
an affirmation of competencies they had already mastered. Instruction built upon 
student success as measured by CASAS assessment. 


CASAS competencies are adaptable to a wide range of student ability levels, needs, 
interests, and learning styles. Student and class profiles enabled instructors to focus 
on a finite list of life skill competencies. This prescription guided instructors in the 
development and implementation of lessons that addressed the needs of the class, as 
opposed to pre-determined learning objectives as stated in a curriculum. Assessment 
determined common needs; instructors ensured the connectivity between needs and 

CASAS Pilot Site Report 
Kirkwood Community College 
Page 4 

Since testing is a time-consuming process, instructors have learned that assessing a 
representative sample of students in a class has indicated needs that are generally 
appropriate for the class as a whole. The adaptability of CASAS has enabled instructors 
to offer lessons that allow for interaction among students. This cooperative learning has 
enhanced students’ interpersonal skills across age, gender, and ability levels. This 
positive classroom climate facilitates peer instruction and small group interaction. 
Students have become more responsible for their own learning. 

Inter-Agency Cooperation 

Due in part to the uncertainties of funding sources, federal legislation, and the likelihood of 
block grants, agencies have been reluctant to expand or replace their current assessment 
procedures. More interest in CASAS Employability Competencies has been expressed by 
administrators and counselors from secondary schools who are examining assessment 
instruments appropriate to the pre-employment needs of at-risk and general high school 

Further information is needed regarding the similarities and differences between CASAS 
ECS and ACT’S Work Keys. At-risk students enrolled in secondary or alternative high 
schools may be an appropriate target audience for a future CASAS ECS pilot project. 

Anecdotal Observations 

When instruction is connected to CASAS assessment, students experience greater 
relevance between classroom activities and the demands of the real world. 

The success of this pilot project has reinforced for instructors the importance of teaching 
relevant skills to ABE students. 

CASAS profiles enabled instructors to address needs common to a group of learners; this 
shared learning helped students increase their self-confidence and established an 
environment that enhanced learning. ‘‘Group discussion was a great teaching tool.” 

Profiles provided individual students with direction for their learning. The reports gave 
students a "boost” and kept them persisting in their attendance and their learning. One 
student reported that she would have dropped out of her alternative high school classes 
had it not been for the relevancy of her CASAS class. 

Classes designed around CASAS competencies assisted GED students who had been 
having difficulty earning passing GED practice test scores. 

CASAS Pilot Site Report 
Kirkwood Community College 
Page S 

Older audiences see the relevance between CASAS competencies and the real world 
more easily than younger students. Often, younger students are less interested in 
learning about life skills because they are not living independently. 

Instructors felt that for the CASAS system to be successfully implemented in additional 
Kirkwood ABE classes, it would be necessary to invest in a computer micro- 
management system. When answer sheets must be mailed to another community 
college for scoring and generating reports, instructors and students feel that they lose 
too much time. If teachers hand-score answer sheets and compile their own reports, 
they duplicate what a scanner can do. Teachers sometimes feel “overwhelmed” with 
CASAS paperwork. 

Most CASAS instructors are interested in continuing to use the system in their 
classes. Teachers who are not teaching CASAS competencies have requested 
copies of student profiles for their own information. 

Students who have attended CASAS classes now expect assessment to play a more 
important part in their education. 

The CASAS class profile enabled instructors to track student progress. It also helped 
keep instructors focused on class content. 

Students who experienced more absences from classes also demonstrated fewer 
gains in scaled scores. 

The integration of computer-based instruction with CASAS instruction was a 
successful means to teach computer skills in life skills contexts and enhance student 


Graph 1.0 

ABE Level I 

CASAS Special Education 
Pre- and Post-Tests 
Scaled Score Comparison 

Adult Life Skills 
Level AAA 
Forms 320 and 321 

The number of hours of instruction between pre— and post-testing 
for this group was 60 - 80 hours, with a scaled score gain of 3.8 

Graph 1.1 

ABE Level I 

CASAS Special Education 
Pre- and Post-Tests 
Scaled Score Comparison 

Adult Life Skills 
Level AA 

Forms 310 and 311 

D. H. 

■ Pre-Test 
E9 Post-Test 


Graph 2.0 

ABE Level II 
CASAS Adult Life Skills 
Pre- and Post-Tests 
Scaled Score Comparison 

Level A, Forms 31 and 32 
Level B, Forms 33 and 34 
Level C, Forms 35 and 36 

■ Pre-Test 
0 Post-Test 

The number of hours of instruction between pre- and post-testing 
for this group was 25 - 35 hours, with a scaled score gain of 9.2 



Year 3 

Submitted to: 

Dr. John Hartwig 
Bureau of Educational and 
Student Services 
Iowa Department of Education 

Compiled by: 
Christine Case 
Adult Basic Education 
Western Iowa Tech 
Community College 
Sioux City, Iowa 

July 1996 




CASAS Pilot Site Report Year 3 
Western Iowa Tech Community College 

Adult Basic Education 

July 1996 

I. Type of Locations 

Learning Center 1 

Family Literacy ABE/GED Classroom 1 

Family Literacy/English as a Second Language Classroom .... 1 

English as a Second Language Class 1 * 

Residential Facility/Work Activity Center 5 

Correctional Facility 1 

Community-Based ABE/GED Classroom 1 

*New site during FY96 
II. Numbers Involved in Pilot Project 

ABE Coordinator 1 

Teachers 14 

Support Staff 2 

Students 384 

• Learning Center 

Site A 179 

Site B 10 

• Family Literacy ABE/GED Classroom 

Site C 18 

• Family Literacy/ESL Classroom 

Site D 11 

• Correctional Facility 

Site E 10 

• Residential Facility/Work Activity Centers 

Site F 30 

Site G (No data due to staff turnover) 0 

Site H 16 

Site I 3 

Site J 3 

Site K 62 

Subtotal 114 

• English as a Second Language Class 

Site L 22 

• Community-Based ABE/GED Classroom 

Site M 20 

55 1 

III. Level of Students Involved 


ABE_Level Level(s) Reading 

Beginning 5A - AA NA 

Beginning A, B 64 

Intermediate C 155 

Adult Secondary D 137 

















IV. Types of Curriculum Materials Used 

Learners are guided into materials and appropriate learning opportunities 
based on their interests and needs. 

• An ongoing effort is made to use materials to enrich and extend the 
"academic" learning and to transfer it into "real-life" situations. As a 
result, many of the lessons are either created or adapted by the teachers 
for individual and/or small group instruction. 

One teacher writes: 

In January of 1996, I began the process of shifting 
instructional focus away from traditional texts. 

Initially, / analyzed all of the CASAS Life Skills 
assessments, competencies, each individual's 
background (family, education, health, psychological, 
learning style), and the CASAS breakouts for every 
student. / grouped students according to competency 
needs and wrote a detailed Individualized Educational 
Program for each working from the CASAS goals and 
objectives. / then started creating curriculum and 
planning instruction and activities for both individual 
and cooperative learning. / asked the Rehab staff for a 
variety of materials: i.e., menus, maps, magazines, 
measurement devices, old docks, empty food 
containers, job applications, recipes, schedules and 
charts, pay checks, time cards, etc. Using the 
computer (and much cut and paste), / developed 
learning packets and worksheets for adults, formatted 
for clarity, easily translated from experiences, and 
specifically transferable into their lives (relevancy, 
comprehension, reinforcement). This project has been 
enormous, but great fun and very rewarding. My 
students are more involved and excited about learning 
because it's real. They have made remarkable 
progress, and other people in their lives are noticing 
and giving positive feedback. 



Examples of real-life curriculum materials include: 


Mall Directory 

The Sioux City Journal 

Maps, Weather Maps 

Public Officials and Voter's Guide 

Cereal Boxes 


Signs in Actual Settings 

Time Sheets, Pay Stubs 
News for You 
Grocery Ads 

1 996 Money Management Calendar 

Bus Schedules 
Globe, World Atlas 
Graphs, Cartoons 
Coins and Currency 
Rulers, Measuring Devices 
Want Ads 

Iowa Driver's Manual 
Telephone Books 

Models of Human Body 
Dictionaries, Encyclopedias 
Work Schedules 
Employment Applications 
Word Processing 
Cover Letters 


Materials requested from our senators' and representatives' offices 
Consumer health and directory information 
Articles on elected officials 

General Competency-Based Resources Used 
Contemporary's "Correlation to CASAS" 

Steck-Vaughn "Guide to Competency-Based Education" 

CBE Functional Life Skills (Oregon) 

Ideas That Work for ABE (Oregon) 

Multi-Level Cooperative Learning Activities (Nebraska 353 Project) 

Publisher's Titles 

Critical Thinking with Math (Reasoning & Problem Solving) 

GED Math Problem Solver 

Math Skills That Work, Books 1 & 2 (A Functional Approach for 
Life and Work) 

Breakthroughs in Math, Book 2 
Real Numbers 
Calculator Power 
Pre-GED Social Studies 
Math and Problem-Solving Skills 
Breakthroughs in Science 
Reading Skills That Work 
Communication Skills That Work 


Reading - Life and Literature 
Springboard - (Practical Reading Section) 

Steck Vaughn 

Math Matters for Adults 

Consumer Math 

America's Government 

Economics - Concepts and Applications 

Connections - Life Skills & Mathematics 

Connections - Life Skills & Writing 

Maps, Globes, Graphs 

Basic Essentials of Math 

Scorebooster Series 

Educational Design 

Reading and Critical Thinking Book 1 & 2 
Job Survival Skills 

New Reader's Press 

The New Oxford Picture Dictionary and Workbook 

Special Needs 
Life Horizons 


Life Management Skills 

Becoming Independent: Developmental Curriculum 
The Instant Chef 



• Guest Speakers 

Nutrition, Driver's License, Realtor, Job-Seeking Skills, Police Officer, 
Firefighters, Kindergarten Teacher, Nurse, League of Women Voters' 
Representative, Parenting Educator, English Professor, WITCC 
Representatives, and more. (See Attachment C.) 

• Field Trips 

Public Library, Police Station, Job Sites, Community Sites, i.e., railroad 
crossing; restrooms, laundromat. (See Attachment C.) 

• Instructional Strategies 

Student participation in advisory board meetings 

Students as team leaders 

Creating books for children 

Hands-on science experiments 


Computer-aided instruction 
Recording and managing lunch money 


Using the telephone 
Using the copy machine 
Designing posters, flyers 

Writing thank-you notes and appropriate letters 

Group oral practice, often based on actual objects or situations 


Role playing 

Relaxation techniques 

Peer teaching/partnering 

Large group reading and spelling exercises 

Writing exercises 

Cooperative learning activities 

Workshops (See Attachment C.) 

V. CASAS Assessment Instruments Used 

• Tests for Special Populations 

Levels 2A - 5A 

• Life Skills Assessment: Reading, Math, Listening (ESL) 


Levels A-D 

• ESL Appraisal, Form 10 

• ECS Appraisal, Form 1 30 

VI. Results of Pre/Post Assessment 

A. Number of students pre/post assessed as of June 1 996 . . 107 

B. Average Pretest/Posttest Scale Score Gains and Instructional Hours 
Refer to Tables 1-4. 

Note: Sites indicating "No Posttesting" are primarily new sites in which 
more instructional time is needed before posttesting, or are sites which 
experienced staff turnover. 


Table 1: Life Skills Reading (Levels A-D) 

) ^||g^88 ; ||p|§il|i 

• '■■'^'‘'Rounded Avengefdff^^ ’K - - ' v> 

21 2 

69 ’ 




Table 2: Life Skills Math (Levels A-Dl 

> k; i!T> 

Site : 

: 1 ~ --- J 1 - 

^ Pretest ' " ‘ Posttest fyS tGairil 





w v '^.' 

. t •: f ? v. S' 




A Y, **VYY; - 
' ~ ' ■ v j *:*£• ■■ : ji r ■ -r^“ rj: 

: v:;i ;:A*wY#>c| 





: ^Y” :>;8Y 

Jl 1 " *>- T V\ ; '>>; V f s l ' ' - »;Ve A ' 

v*: .- 

3 ."' 'M 











Y:, :y : ?| 


••:: .. .>.;>•>;.■ 
>' s': ‘'rtS-S' 

.. Y 

., ... jijiigG? 

•-* ! ;•:• i.y < , t"-|»> 

f ..'i^)VKx:>j*V»:>iSciKTr;iW‘ *i 

•: b,: 82 .' "ri: 1 ;': ■ ‘ 

-• ! s»;^*«r*if.p 

, m I . yjs ' No>posttesting.£ 

i: J: If i ^ j;kn t *Y”> ; 

:ti ^ Jr: J£ rfh *& irf fra K • »: « i* 2?f !i; Si iS i ***1: i! 35 It* L f: ■’frsiir & ri: X ft; iSS 

Rounded A verage §c|| •F;Kj 

' ‘ '• 1 < -> r '* * 

. * y '; 

SS i I 

■ <„ f 


Table 3; Listening (English as a Second Language) 

L .« ! ».. ,C i\ fi\V' 47r^^ fc^vf / fe iV":^ : . . • • 

• •■.Site’' v^ Pretest ^ : M Posttest - 


Table 4; Special Nee ds (Levels 2A-5A1 

VII. Adaptability of CASAS to ABE Sites 

The consensus of the teachers using or learning to use CASAS continues 
to be that CASAS proves to be well adapted to their instructional 
settings. This is significant in that the sites using CASAS are 
representative of the full-range of CASAS levels, from AAAAA (Special 
Needs) through Level D. What other assessment, using a common scale, 
adapts so well to the Adult Basic Education program that, as its mission, 
serves this continuum of levels? 

Teacher Comments: 

• Residential Facility/Work Activity Center Sites 

This program is great. Helps you find a starting place or level to start 
the student. Shows the weak areas that need to be worked on, and it 
monitors the student's progress. Having just started as an ABE 
instructor, I’ve not had the experience of using the CASAS assessment 
and tests. I'm very excited about using them. Next year I hope to 
have a lot of input." 

"CASAS has been and continues to be very adaptable. There are so 
many ways to use the pretest info. You have concrete information that 
is open to many useful ways of learning it. Students seem to always 
show progress. One or two may not posttest well, then on the next 



"post” really excel. Common sense is useful and needed to use 
CASAS also." 

"With the multiple levels, CASAS is very adaptable at my site. I see 
various levels of students. Some of them will have a community job 
with support and others will stay in a shelter situation. The results give 
a good indication of the appropriate placement." 

"One of the problems of using CASAS at this site is obtaining posttest 
scores for the annual report. Many adult students leave services with 
little or no notice. They become employed, drop out, change work 
assignments, or have health problems. Some are enrolled for computer 
literacy or other 'nontraditional' purposes beyond the 3Rs. Some are 
ESL/LEP students. 

"Regardless of the problems with posttesting, CASAS is an invaluable 
tool for program and instruction planning, curriculum development, and 
evaluation. The list of competencies is very comprehensive and 
particularly useful in drafting Individualized Educational Programs, as 
well as Employability Development Plans." 

• Seif-Contained/Learning Center Sites 

"CASAS appraisal and pretesting have been a part of my regular 
orientation process for most of the 90's. CASAS is adaptable to the 
regular ABE level classroom where we have always had a holistic 
approach to teaching. Posttesting continues to be more difficult in 
'catching' students at the right time, etc." 

"It is a good diagnostic tool . . .." 

"Students feel comfortable with the test." 

• English as a Second Language 

"Easy to use . . . results vary a lot. The students view it as a big deal." 

"I still don't understand how it's possible for individual students to 
have such dramatic drops in score on the posttest. This year no one 
did this on reading! But in listening which we probably do more of, 4 
out of 8 students dropped, scoring -1, -6, -8, and -1 1 points! This is 
hard to explain to students in an optimistic way." 

"Due to the nature and number of the population served (1 106), it is 
difficult to test, and especially to post-test." 




VIII. Inter-Agency Cooperation 

• Promise Jobs/JTPA 

Partnerships among ABE, Promise Jobs, and JTPA continue to be 
strengthened, with CASAS being one of the strengthening agents. In 
addition to JTPA and Promise Jobs participation in the CASAS Norming 
Study, Promise Jobs staff continue to administer the ECS 1 30 
Appraisal to the Promise Jobs participants. As one ABE teacher noted: 

I believe Promise Jobs likes the idea of using a common assessment 
which makes sharing of information easier and helps limit the amount 
of testing done by students between agencies or different classroom 

• Residential Facilities/Work Activity Centers 

CASAS information has been shared with a number of work activity 
and residential facility personnel, including administrators, IPP teams, 
rehabilitation staff, work area/production managers and supervisors, 
resident service directors, nurse aides, and CASALA staff who 
supervise persons in apartments. Parents and family members have 
also been a part of the CASAS dialogue. The Department of Human 
Services, the Area Education Agency, the Department of Vocational 
Rehabilitation, and the local school system have also been involved in 
the dialogue. 

Teacher Comments: 

CASAS was viewed by our C.A.R.F. accreditation surveyor as a very 
valuable tool in our vocational evaluation process. As a result we were 
given a three-year accreditation in an area that we had never been 
accredited in before. The agencies that receive the data felt that it 
provided an overall view of top and high priority level essential skills of 
the student." 

"The CASAS provides an accurate picture of skills that can be 
presented to parents, agencies, and students." 

"I have included the CASAS individual profile in all client main files and 
based programming on the competency goals and objectives - so any 
rehabilitation staff members and agencies involved in client staffings 
(Iowa DHS, Iowa Voc Rehab, Midsteps and group homes staff, parents 
of clients) have become familiar with CASAS. I also have used the 
CASAS to evaluate and develop program management plans for 
referrals from Promise Program, American Indian Council, and St. 

Luke's halfway houses. 


"Senior . . . staff are favorably impressed; all others tend to be satisfied 
or have no particular opinion. Most agencies, group home supervisors, 
and parents do not have an understanding of the importance of pre and 
post evaluation in program planning. They think in terms of test scores 
expressed in percentages, academic skills rather than functional 
competencies, and traditional grade levels. They are, however, very 
impressed with the program planning which results from using the 
information and components taken from the competency lists." 

"CASAS has been very impressive. I'm now able to say, 'When I do 
the CASAS assessment, I'll send you a copy.' They know what I'm 
talking about. They have also asked me about their abilities many 
times. I believe I've been taken more seriously at ICPs." 

"It is still difficult to see much improvement in the very low functioning 
(AAAA). I need to work on that curriculum. 

"I do run into problems with persons coming and going due mostly to 
hospitalization. That makes instruction a bit more difficult. 

"At the facility 5 persons are phone receptionists; three are helping me 
in ABE (all being paid). CASAS helped show these persons they were 
more capable than they thought." 

Anecdotal Staff Observations 

"Changing from using the Life Skills Appraisal to using ECS appraisal, 
results of which first show up on this year's CASAS report, has 
dramatically changed the number of students testing at the higher 

"The person giving the exam impacts the perception of those being 
tested. Our 'testing experience' was very positive, greatly due to the 
manner in which everything related to the testing process was presented. 
J. George did an excellent job!" 

"I have observed a discrepancy in scores when students move to a 
higher level test. Often, for example, when a student moves from the 
top of Level C to a D posttest, the student will have a decrease in the 
scaled score." 

"As a general assessment tool for disadvantaged adults (Vocational 
Success Program), exposure seems to be a significant factor. 
Economically deprived and lower socioeconomic individuals without 
much work history are often unfamiliar with the format of some items, 
and therefore, score lower. Following a brief explanation, they usually 

experience no difficulty. The CASAS, however, is extremely important 
for VSP clients because it is a nonfunded program, and there is no 
referral information except for what is self-reported." 

"Reading ability and comprehension appear to be critical to doing well in 
the math component of the CASAS assessments. Individuals with 
specific learning disabilities in reading are penalized in the math 
assessments. Is it possible to provide an audio tape of the math 
questions to accommodate this disability and obtain a more accurate 

"Students that read poorly test lower in math than their actual level— and 
comprehension. Some other testing required." 

"Each and every student improves somewhere. Maybe it isn’t the 
statistics shown in the posttesting, but it’s in the attitude, the 
confidence, the attendance. 

- Goals are easier to define. (There can be one goal or many.) 

- Student/Teacher both are enjoying class even more. 

- Stress is placed basically on what he/she knows, even if it’s not much. 

- CASAS opens the door for positive instruction." 

X. Other Important Observations/Information 

A. Impact on ABE Programming 

The incremental integration of CASAS at various ABE sites continues to 
have a positive impact on the WITCC ABE program. A common 
language is developing, not only among the ABE staff, but with other 
key agencies and partners. 

B. Progress Toward Local Program Goals 

Several goals for Year 3 were outlined in the Year 2 CASAS Pilot Site 
Report. This section cites progress toward meeting those goals. 

Goal 1 : Utilize resources for focusing curriculum development and 

instruction; i.e., IABSS, ABE students, the CASAS 
Competency List, OCAPA. 

These and other resources were critically reviewed by staff on an 
ongoing basis throughout the year. Specific outcomes of this effort 
include 1) a Student Satisfaction Questionnaire (Attachment A); 2) a 
Personal Achievement Inventory (Attachment B); and 3) a rich offering 
of workshops, field trips, and guest speakers (Attachment C). 



Goal 2: Evaluate the ECS Form 130 appraisal as an alternative to the 

Life Skills Appraisal, Form 30. 

The ECS Form 1 30 has proven to be a more accurate placement tool 
than the Life Skills Appraisal, Form 30 . Our program will continue to 
use the ECS Form 130 Appraisal. 

Goal 3: Provide training to local ABE staff and other interested 

entities in the use of CASAS. 

Six new staff were trained in the use of CASAS during the year. 
However, there is a need for follow-up training and sharing among all 
local staff. 

Goal 4: Increase the number of sites using CASAS, e.g., upper-level 

ESL, workplace. 

Students in one upper-level ESL class were assessed this spring. There 
is still a need for targeted instruction and post-assessment. 

No workplace sites were established. 

Goal 5: Pilot CASAS assessment at the local Department of 

Employment Services site, utilizing the Computer-Based ECS 
Form 130 Test Materials. This activity is part of the vision of 
developing an Employee Certification Program in conjunction 
with the Job Service Employment Council. 

This pilot assessment did not evolve because 1 ) the computer-based 
ECS Form 130 , although marketed, was not available until just 
recently, and 2) the uncertainty of the direction of the local Workforce 
Development Center. 

Goal 6: Increase the number of posttested students. 

A significant increase of posttested students in some sites and a slight 
decrease or none in other sites has resulted in only a slight increase in 
posttested students. The number will continue to increase, however, 
as more staff implement CASAS. 

Posttesting does remain a challenge for reasons previously cited. Any 
"tips " would be greatly appreciated. 

Goal 7: Implement a computer-based record-management system. 

Is TOPS* what we've been waiting for??? 

*Tracking Outcomes for Programs and Students 




• The development and delivery of ongoing training 

• Post Assessment 

• Interpretation of the CASAS ESL Assessment 

• Record management is all done by hand. This is especially taxing for 
programs with 50+ enrollees. 

• Keeping up 

Positive Outcomes of the CASAS Project 

• The intra- and interstate networking across ABE programs and other key 

• The Iowa Adult Basic Skills Survey (IABSS) 

• A Workforce Basic Skills Norming Study of Iowa's JTPA and Promise 
Jobs Target Populations 

• The compatibility of CASAS with the ABE Standards and Benchmarks 

• Significant learner gains 

• The CASAS Pilot Site Report 

• Assessment, curriculum, and instruction that is learner-centered and 
increasingly interactive and fun. 

1 Casa 2 Casas 

(Attachment h, Page 1 of 3) 

Western Iowa Tech Community College 
Adult Basic Education 

© Stiideni Satisfaction Questionnaire 

Because this program is here to meet your needs, your opinion is important! 

Your responses to the following statements will help the staff know what you like about 
the program as well as how it could be improved. 

Please circle the response that best describes your opinion. If an area needs 
improvement, please feel free to write a comment or suggestion in the space provided. 

E = Excellent G = Good F = Fair Nl * Needs Improvement NA = Does Not Apply 

The staff (teachers, classroom aide, 
volunteers) are friendly and enthusiastic 
and treat me with respect. 






Staff members are willing to listen and help 
me when needed. 






The staff explain material clearly and 
thoroughly when 1 have a question. 






If 1 don’t understand material one way, the 
staff members are patient and try to present 
it in a different form. 






1 receive enough individual attention from 






the staff. 

(Attachment A, Page 2 of 3) 


The room is welcoming and comfortable to 
work in (lighting, furniture arrangement, 
temperature, bulletin boards, posters, etc.) 







1 am able to concentrate in this room. 







Use of the computer was explained to me 
and 1 use it as needed. 







The New Student Orientation was a 
meaningful introduction to the program. 






10 . 

Instructors help me with setting goals and 
how to achieve them. 







The workshops and field trips are helping 
me meet my goals. 







Instructors and 1 review and discuss my 






progress on a regular basis. 




(Attachment A, Page 3 of 3) 

13. My achievements are recognized by the E G F Nl NA 


14. I am learning from and working E G F Nl NA 

cooperatively with other adults. 

15. I would recommend this program to a friend E G F Nl NA 
or relative. 

16. How long have you been a student 1 month or less 1-5 months 

in the program? 6-12 months 12+ months 

1 7. What was your first impression of the program? 

1 8. What area(s) do you feel you have improved in? 

19. What area(s) would you like more help in? 

20. List one way that this program could be improved. (More if you want.) 

Thank you! 

Western Iowa Tech Community College (Attachment 

Adult Basic Education original size: 8k 

Personal Achievement Inventory 

Name Date 

Classroom Site. 


The Personal Achievement Inventory is your opportunity to evaluate the progress you’re making toward building your skills 
and how you’re using these skills, not just in the classroom, but at home, at work, and in the community. 

Directions: For each of the following statements, please check the appropriate response(s). 

Imp = Improving NI = Not Improving NG = Not a Goal at This Time 





Developing my thinking and reasoning 

Making better judgments and life 

Setting, prioritizing, and accomplishing 
my personal, educational, and work goals 

Identifying problems and finding 

Managing my time better 

Using effective study and test taking skills 





Using whole numbers, decimals, 
fractions, and percents 

Using steps to help me solve a math 

Understanding weights and measurements 
(length, width, perimeter, area, volume) 

Budgeting and managing my money 

Comparing prices to determine “the 
best buy” 

Using savings and checking accounts 
and other banking services 

Interpreting paychecks, bills 





Following written and/or spoken 

Asking questions if I need more help 

Organizing my thoughts before 
expressing them out loud 

Using the telephone and telephone book 
(to gather and locate information, 
conduct business) 

Listening to and trying to understand 
opinions different from my own 

Using appropriate behavior and 
language in a variety of situations 





Learning about jobs and careers and 
the skills and education needed 

Developing skills for finding and 
keeping a iob or getting a better iob 

Learning cooperatively with others like 
a member of a team 





Making use of directions and maps to 
find or travel to places 

Becoming involved in school, 
neighborhood, and community activities 

Carrying out community responsibilities 
such as voting, jury duty, volunteering 

Respecting cultural differences 





Organizing, developing, and expressing 
my ideas 

Writing complete sentences instead of 
fragments or run-ons 

Using appropriate capitalization, 
punctuation, and spelling 

Writing letters, memos, essays 





Understanding basic principles for 
staying healthy (balanced diet, nutrition, 
hygiene, exercise, medication use) 

Knowing what to do in a medical 

Developing a more positive attitude and 
self image 





Reading more on my own and 
understanding what I read 

"Reading between the lines” and 
obtaining meaning from what’s “hinted 
at” (drawing conclusions, distinguishing 
fact from opinion, making inferences) 

Reading for everyday life, such as the 
newspaper, menus, TV and movie 
listings, maps, mall directions 

Locating information (schools, medical, 
government, child care, parenting, 
library, transportation) 

Interpreting and completing forms such 
as job applications, insurance, patient 
information, applications for housing 

Sounding out unfamiliar words 





x 14 

(Attachment C> Page 1 of 4) 


Western Iowa Tech Community College 
Adult Basic Education/GED Preparation 
Sioux City Site 

^Daytime Workshops Developed and Offered Since September 1995^ 

Learning to Learn 

• Team Power 

• An Apple a Day 

• Testing Success 

• Think Positive 

• Effective Study Strategies 

• Turn Things Around (Guest Speaker) 

W riting/Reading 

• Sentence Sense 

• Perfecting Paragraphs 

• Capitalizing on English 

• The GED Essay 

• Write On! 

• Write Right 

• Read All About It 

• News for You 

• News and New Zealand 

• The Road to Success 

Math/Consumer Economics 

• Fraction Action 

• Decimal “Pointers 

• Making “Cents” of Percents 

• Math Matters 

• Problem Solving 

• Balancing Your Budget 

• Smart Consumers (You) Share Secrets 

• Save $, Recycle, and Help Our 

• Budgeting and Money Management (Guest 


• The Life You Save (Guest Speaker) 

• A Healthier You (Guest Speaker — 

4 sessions) 

• Fitness for You! (Guest Speaker) 

Special/Communitv Awareness 

• WITCC Campus Tour 

• Hocus Pocus - Halloween Is the Focus 

• Nature Center Tour 

• A “Dickens” of a Time (Guest Speaker) 

• Sioux City Public Museum Tour 

• “Mammals of the Ice Age” (Field Trip) 

• Is WTTCC for You? (Guest Speaker) 

• JTPA/Promise Jobs Opportunities (Guest 

• Woodbury County Courthouse Tour 

• Find the Right Words (Guest Speaker) 

. KTIV/Channel 4 Tour 




(Attachment C, Page 2 of 4) 

Western Iowa Tech Community College 
Adult Basic Education/GED Preparation 
Sioux City Site 

Q 1995-96 Daytime Workshop Descriptions) 

Learning to Learn 

Team Power (45 minutes) 

Working as a member of a team is a vital skill required 
by employers, colleges, as well as in everyday life. 

“Team Power” activities will focus on sharing your skills 
and know-how with others. It’s a powerful method of 
learning, and the interaction makes class fun! 

An Apple a Day (1 hour) 

Tli is is a hands-on opportunity to learn about the 
classroom computers and the different software programs 
available for your use. Using the computer is an excellent 
way to reinforce your skills! 

Testing Success (1 hour) 

Take tests with the positive feeling that you are mentally 
and physically prepared! This workshop will help you 
become “test-wise” in reading and taking tests. You will 
also learn ways to remain calm and relaxed right before a 

Think Positive! (45 minutes) 

As an individual, you are important and have experiences 
that aa* unique. This activity will help you to begin to 
discover and build on the positive qualities you possess. 

kfTrctive Study Strategies (45 minutes) 

Discover ways to maximize your reading and study skills! 
This video focuses on successful study how-tos such as 
organizing your work, managing time, preparing for tests, 
and more. 

Turn Things Around (1 hour) 

durst Speaker: Nathan Hembd, Academic Foundations, 
Western Iowa Tech Community College 
How can an adult with dyslexia succeed? Learn from 
someone who knows what it’s like to see letters and 
numbers reversed. Nathan will share some of his own 
experiences as well as provide strategies for coping with 
learning differences. 



The Road to Success 

Tuesday & Thursday, 11-12 

Literacy students and tutors come together to work on 
individual and group projects such as vocabulary 
development, phonics skills, reading, and writing for 
every day, such as reading a menu, writing a letter, check 
writing, using the newspaper. Guest speakers and field 
trips will be incorporated as appropriate. Enrollment is 
determined on an individual basis. Please see Trisha for 
further details or to see if this class will help you meet 
your needs. 

Read AH About It (1 hour) 

If you want to improve your reading, math, vocabulary 
and communication skills, AND study social studies, 
science, health and MORE, join this lively group that 
uses the Sioux City Journal as the “textbook.” 

News for You (1 hour) 

Congress, Bosnia, Joe Camel, Hurricanes, Sports, 

Newt Stay in touch with national and world events by 
joining this lively group that uses the up-to-date weekly 
edition of News for You. 

News & New Zealand (1 hour) 

In addition to studying “News for You,” this month Barb 
Borchert will share her “New Zealand Adventure.” Did 
you realize that New Zealanders are a day ahead of us, 
that they're entering their fall season now, and that they 
drive on the left side of the road rather than the right? 
Come join us and learn about this beautiful country on 
three islands. 


Sentence Sense (1 hour) 

Get comfortable with writing! Learn the basics of writing 
a sentence. This skill is necessary for being able to write 
a paragraph, a letter, the GED Essay, and more. 

Perfecting Paragraphs (1 hour) 

Will you ever need to write a note to your child’s teacher 
or write a work memo? This workshop will help you 
organize your thoughts. It’s to your benefit to be able to 
write clear complete sentences. 

Capitalizing on English (ongoing) 

This group is for adults who want to learn about English 
“from the beginning.” Please see Barb Borchert for more 

The GED Essay (1 hour) 

How is writing an essay like a sandwich? In this 
workshop you will leam what the GED essay reader 
looks for in an acceptable, creative essay. Caution: You 
may get hungry! 

Write On! (2 hours) 

Leam strategies for evaluating your own writing and 
getting feedback from yourself first. This workshop will 
provide you with ways to ask yourself if what you’ve 
written is clear, organized, and effective. 

Write Right (1 hour) 

Do you have trouble getting your ideas down on paper? 
Leam new ways to improve your writing skills! 

Math/Consumer Economics 

Fraction Action (2 hours) 

You will leam how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide 
fractions; find a common denominator; reduce to lowest 
terms; and more! It’s to your benefit to know your 
multiplication facts. 

Decimal “Pointers (2 hours) 

You will learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide 
decimals; and leam all there is to know about a decimal 
point! It s to your benefit to be able to accurately 
multiply and divide large numbers. 

Making “Cents” of Percents (2 hours) 

You’ll really be able to figure out terrific sales as a result 
of this workshop! It’s to your benefit to have a solid 
understanding of fractions and decimals. 

Math Matters (ongoing) 

This group is for adults who want to start with math 
“from the beginning.” Please see Barb Borchert for more 


(Attachment C/ Page 3 of 4) 

Problem Solving (2 hours) 

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Even 
though math problems can sometimes seem 
overwhelming, they can be successfully solved 
step-by-step” (or “bite by bite”). You will leam to apply 
these successful strategies for solving life, work, and 
GED math problems. 

Balancing Your Budget (1 hour) 

Groceries, rent, utilities, gas, birthday presents, Christmas. 
. . How can you balance your expenses and save for the 
“extras”? This workshop will provide you with some tips 
on money management and how to keep track of “what’s 
in the checkbook.” 

Smart Consumers (You) Share Secret s (1 hour) 

Admission to this workshop is 3 written smart consumer 
tips that have worked for you! These will then be shared 
and discussed in this student-run group. A short video. 
Tracking Your Spending, will offer additional tips. 

Save $$, Recycle, and Help Our Environment 

Who doesn’t want to save money and at the same time 
improve the world we live in??? Barb W. and Barb B. 
will share information on how we all benefit from 

Budgeting and Money Management 

Guest Speaker: Mary Snow— Woodbury County Extension 

Mary will help you leam how to control your money 
instead of your money controlling you. 


The Life You Save. . . 

Diana VanderKooi, an Emergency Medical Technician 
(EMT) and volunteer with the Merrill ambulance team, 
will discuss and answer questions about 91 1 and personal 
protection against communicable diseases. She will also 
bring a mannequin for demonstrating the Heimlich 

A Healthier You (45 minutes) 

Guest Speaker : Aggie Gagnon, Woodbury County 
Extension Office 

Are you concerned about healthy eating for you and your 
family? Familiarize yourself with the basic 5 food groups 
as well as leam suggestions for meeting the basic daily 
requirements. Determine: 

• how to restrict fat and sodium in your diet. 

• what makes food spoil. 

• how to interpret the new nutritional labeling on 
food products. 

Participate in the nutrition workshops being offered and 
eat your way to a healthier you in '96! 

(Attachment C/ Page 4 of 4) 

Fitness for You 

Guest Presenter: Ellen Jackson 

Being physically fit is as great for your mind as it is 
for your body! Ellen will address the importance of 
exercise and its positive impact on you. 

Special/Communitv Awareness 

WITCC Campus Tour 

Are you thinking of going to college some day? Then 
come see and learn about the opportunities that 
Western Iowa Tech Community College has to offer. 
Transportation to and from Central Campus will be 
provided. Maximum 15 students. Check with one of 
the teachers to sign up. 

Hocus Pocus - Halloween Is the Focus 

Help the staff “brew up” some haunting activities. 
Edgar Allan Poe? Alfred Hitchcock? Costumes? Cider 
and Treats? Magic? Share your ideas with Barb, Barb, 
or Trisha. Why should the kids have all the fun? 

Nature Center Tour 

We’ve heard about this beautiful new facility near 
Stone Park. . .now’s our chance to tour it! Find out 
what a nature center is and how it benefits you. 
Transportation to and from Central Campus will be 
provided. Check with one of the teachers to sign up! 

A “Dickens” of a Time 

“Bah! Humbug!” This expression was uttered by the 
character Ebenezer Scrooge in the book A Christmas 
Carol: the writer who gave life to this mean-spirited 
skinflint was Charles Dickens. Fortunately, our 
community is the home of a Charles Dickens expert, 
Jan Hodge. Jan, a professor at Morningside College, 
will informally share some of his knowledge about 
Charles Dickens and introduce us to a play he has 
written based on Dickens’ second Christmas book, The 
Chimes . 

Please share your special ideas for this festive day 
with Barb , Barb , Trisha, and Bev! 

You merry' folk, be of good cheer , 

Tor Christmas comes but once a year. . . 

Sioux City Public Museum Tour 

Expand your knowledge of history, science, social 
studies, and more by seeing, touching, listening, and 
asking questions “on location” at the Sioux City Public 

Transportation to and from Central Campus will be 
provided. Maximum 15 students. Check with one of 
the teachers to sign up. 

"Mammals of the Ice Age" Exhibition 

Sioux City is the perfect cold spot for these mammals! 
This special exhibition includes lifelike, LIFE-SIZE, 
animated models of seven mammals of the Ice Age. 
There will be no admission fee. Transportation will be 
gf'~vided; depart from Central Campus at 9:40 a.m. and 

return by noon. Sign up no later than February 6. 
Maximum 15 students. 

Is WITCC for You? 

Guest Speakers: Julie Scott, Penny Schempp — WITCC 
Student Services 

Are you thinking that maybe you’d like to go to 
WITCC after earning your GED but you’re unsure 
about how to go about it? Maybe you don’t know 
what you might want to study. If so, this session is 
for you! Julie Scott and Penny Schempp from WITCC 
Student Services will explain the entrance requirements 
and counseling services available to help you. 

JTPA/Promise Jobs Opportunities 

Guest Speaker: Chris Jensen — WTICC/JTPA 

Learn about opportunities for students available through 

JTPA and Promise Jobs at WITCC. 

Chris Jensen will discuss issues involving career 
exploration, financial assistance, job-seeking skills, 
resume writing, and the student’s role in fulfilling 
JTPA/Promise Jobs requirements. 

This presentation will offer worthwhile information 
which might help you when making decisions about 
“life after the ABE/GED classroom.” This is your 
opportunity to ask the questions! 

Woodbury County Courthouse Tour 

Did you know our own courthouse is recognized 
nationally? Come with us and learn more about its 
unique features, visit the law library, a courtroom, and 
learn more about trials and jury duty. Transportation 
will be provided; depart from Central Campus at 9:40 
and return by noon. 

Finding the Right Words 

Guest Speaker : Kevin Grieve — Woodbury County 
Extension Service 

Do you ever feel awkward when meeting someone 
new? How should you act? What do you say when 
someone pays you a compliment? Kevin will offer 
suggestions for effective communication skills needed 
when interacting with friends, family, co-workers, the 

KTIV/Channel 4 Tour 

What’s it like “behind the scenes” of a television 
station? How is local news, weather, and sports 
information gathered and made to fit in a half hour? 
Let’s go “on location” and find out. Transportation will 
be provided; depart from Central Campus at 9:45 a.m.; 
return by noon. Maximum 15 students on the WITCC 



Indian Hills 

Community College 

Compiled by: 
Cindy Burnside 

Indian Hills Community College 
Ottumwa, Iowa 

July 10, 1996 


CASAS Pilot Site Report 
Indian Hills Community College 
Adult Basic Education 

I. Type of Locations and Number of Teachers 
Sheltered Worksites 

Ottumwa 6 

Bloomfield 2 

Fairfield 1 

Albia 1 

Chariton 1 

Sigourney 2 


Residential Care Facilities 

Ottumwa 6 

Bloomfield 3 

Oskaloosa 3 

Keosauqua 2 

Fairf iled 3 


GED/ABE Learning Sites 

Ottumwa 4 

Centerville 3 

Fairfield 1 

Chariton 1 

Corydon 1 

Bloomfield 2 

Keosauqua 1 

Sigourney 1 


Job Opportunities Center 

Keosauqua 1 

Residential Correctional Facility 
Ottumwa 1 

Family Literacy 

Ottumwa 1 

Workforce Training 
Area 15 5 



( 1 .) 

III. Level of Students Involved 

ABE Level 

Beginning Basic Skills 
Intermediate Basic Skills 
Advanced Basic Skills 
Adult Secondary 
Advanced Adult Secondary 

CASAS Level (s) 

5A to Pre A 






IV. Types of Curriculum Materials Used 

A. Learning Center: Students are guided into 

materials and appropriate learning opportunities 
based on their interests and needs . 

The lessons taught in our group time have practical 
applications for the students. Examples of real- 
life materials include: 

Ottumwa Courier 

Political cartoons 

Iowa Driver' s Manual 



Voter's Guide 

First Aid Manual 

Special programs have included speakers on 
nutrition, stress, budgeting, etc., from the 
Extension Service, and a visit from the public 
health nurse. 

♦General Competency-Based Resources Used: 
Contemporary's Correlation to CASAS 
Steck-Vaughn Guide to Competency-Based Education 
Ideas That Work for ABE (Oregon) 

* Publisher's Titles 

Critical Thinking with Math (Reasoning 
and Problem Solving) 

GED Math Problem Solver 
Math Skills That Work, Books 1 & 2 (A 
Functional Approach for Life and Work) 
Foundations for Math, Science, Social 
Studies, Reading 

Reading and Critical Thinking in the Content 

Real Numbers 
Number Power 1-8 


( 2 .) 

* Steck-Vaughn 

Working With Numbers - Refresher 

Basic Essentials of Math Book 1 & 2 

Vocabulary Connections - A Content Area 

Approach, Levels C - H 

The Wonders of Science 

Economics - Concepts and Applications 

Maps, Globes, Graphs 

B. TENCO Industries: 

♦TENCO Industries in Ottumwa has developed 15 
class curriculums for the instructors to follow 
or use as a guide. In addition to these 
curriculums, TENCO teachers have made their own 
classroom teaching materials based on our CASAS 
testing. We develop activities and outings 
that relate to specific competencies. We order 
and have access to workbooks from Steck-Vaugnn, 

New Readers Press, Contemporary Books, Inc., 

News for You paper and others. We have the 
Area Education Agency as another resource 
available to us where we check out books, videos 
and software packages. We have used the 
Wapello County Extension Service as another 
source for materials. Public libraries, maps, 
globes, city bus schedules, and many city 
businesses and community resources have been 
used or visited. 

C. Highland Place: 

Helping these residents to gain skills relevant 
to improving their "real life" functions, an 
elevated effort is made to include materials that 
transfer "school" (or academic learning) to 
daily life situations . Many lessons focus on 
small group or individual learning, and many 
lessons have been created for target needs by the 
instructors . 

Examples of situational materials include, but 
are not limited to: 

a) change of address forms 
nutrition guides 
bank applications 
utility bills 
home safety guides 
rulers/measuring cups 
coupons/store ads 
remote controls 
job applications 
AEA computer programs 
consumer information 
nature videos 

food product labels 
grocery lists 
city guides/maps 
"fake" money 
bank account forms 
bus schedules 
phones /phone books 
restaurant menus 
city library 
appliance controls 
clothing care labels 

(3.) 81 


Specific curriculum: 

Kansas Competency System: Functional Reading 

and Math Curriculum Material 
Project MAPP (Maryland Adult Performance 

Specific Publishers: 

Contemporary Books: Lifescenes - Life Skills: 

Reading and Writing for Comprehension; Life 
Skills: Developing Consumer Competence; 

Amazing Century (Books I - IV) ; Reading Skills 
That Work; Math Power Books, and GED 
materials . 

c. Steck- Vaughn: Reading Skills for Adults; The 

Wonders of Science; Working Makes Sense; Math 
Matters for Adults; Working with Numbers; 
Gateways to Correct Spelling, Maps, Globes, 
and Graphs, and GED/CASAS materials. 

C. Activities such as grocery/consumer-need 
shopping, cooking/baking, banking, social 
gatherings (picnics, city- sponsored 
activities, etc.) trips to the library, 
garage sales, and bus rides also supported 
the curriculum. 

V. CASAS Assessment Instruments Used 

Tests for Special Populations 

Level AA (Form 310,311) 

Level AAA (Form 320-321) 

Level AAAA (Form 330,331) 

Level AAAAA (Form 340) 

Beginning Literacy 
Level Pre-A (Form 27, 28) 

Life Skills Assessment: Reading and Math 

Life Skills Appraisal, Form 30 
Level A (Form 31, 32) 

Level B (Form 33, 34) 

Level C (Form 35,36) 

Level D (Form 37,38) 

Employability Competency System 
ECS Extended Appraisal (Form 130) 

ECS Assessment: Reading and Math 

Level A (Form 11, 12) 

Level B (Form 13, 14) 

Level C (Form 15, 16) 

Critical Thinking for Employment 

Secondary Diploma Program Assessments 



VI. Results of Pre/Post Assessment 

A. Number of students pre/post assessed as of 

June 1996: 1063 

B. Average Pretest/Posttest Scale Score Gains and 
Instructional Hours 

Table 1: Special Needs (Non-Reading) Below CASAS 200 

Average Instructional time: assessed once a year in May. 

Pretest Posttes t Gain 

175.5 179.5 4 

Tah1i» 2: Life Skills Reading (Levels A-D) 

Average Instructional Hours 60 

Pretest Posttest Gain 

224.4 232.7 8.3 

Table 3: Life Skills Math (Levels A-D) 

Average Instructional Hours 60 

Pretest Posttest Gain 

216.4 222.8 6.4 

VII. Adaptability of CASAS to ABE Sites 

Learning Center: We believe that CASAS adapts well to our 

instructional setting. The CASAS testing system gives us 
a full range of levels; there is no other testing program 
as complete as this. We are able to more accurately 
assess the needs of our students. Each student has 
suitable objectives for him/herself. We have used 
Daily Oral Language and News for You in our group 
sessions, and we have five copies of the local news- 
paper delivered each day we have class. It is used 
often as a lesson for group activities. 

TENCO: TENCO teachers are used to adapting materials to 

suit their classroom subjects and student's abilities, 
since it is sometimes hard to locate adult low-level 
materials that are meaningful, yet interesting. There- 
fore, we have no problems adapting CASAS materials into 
our program. 

Highland Place: The adaptability of the CASAS program 

is significant to Highland Place. The pretests and 
appraisals/locator tests are not standardized for 
time, due to the specific needs of our consumers. The 
tests show specific competencies that are often 
included in goals which the consumers need to focus and 
work on for IPPs and personal gains. 

( 5 .) 


However, certain situations cause a delay in utilizing 
CASAS and its specific competencies as a form of 
needs assessment and instructional tool. The tests 
are usually adaptable for consumers who may be 
functioning at different levels on different days 
due to their individual situations. In these 
circumstances, the tests have been administered over 
a time period ranging from one week to well over a 
month. The test is easily stopped and later retasked 
for consumers who face re-hospitalization or other 
circumstances that delay a continuous session. Some 
consumers have steadfastly refused to participate in 
the CASAS project, yet the competencies are easily 
managed and manipulated to guide needs assessments for 
most consumers, based on previous observations, per- 
sonal interviews, and natural assessment techniques. 

VIII. Inter-Agency Cooperation 

Learning Center: Promise Jobs and JTPA have accepted the 

CASAS tests as valid testing measures. Other agencies 
that we serve are Vocational Rehabilitation, youth 
shelters, high school, a group home for men under the age 
of 18, and correctional facilities. Since we all use the 
same tests, we have a common ground and a common 
vocabulary to use when we discuss students who may pass 
from one agency to another. 

TENCO: Inter-Agency cooperation has been good. TENCO 

deals with some of the same students that Highland Place, 
which is a Residential Facility, and the Learning Center 
does. Good cooperation eliminates the problem of 
" over- testing" students. One Agency may call upon 
another one to get CASAS test results on a particular 
student rather than retesting them. When one Agency 
wants results on several students at a time, then this 
can run into a question of time. 

Highland Place: Other agencies shared information on 

the CASAS project. TENCO, the sheltered workshop, 
community- based apartments, and the Learning Center 
worked with Highland Place. By sharing information, 
results, needs assessments, and materials, a bond 
was created to better serve the needs of our consumers, 
whether they lie at the local sheltered workshop, in 
community- based settings, or at our facility. 

IX. Anecdotal Observations During Pilot Test Phase 

Learning Center: We would like to see additional forms on 

the same level be available. Some of our students do not 
complete a level within a year of instruction and 
we would like to be able to posttest again in the 
same level. 

( 6 .) 

TENCO: CASAS has worked for TENCO Industries because 

of the understanding and support given by the TENCO 
Staff . 

It is so hard to follow all the students who take a 
pretest through to a post test one year leter. 

Many students leave the program for various reasons. 

Some of our negative gain was due to medication changes 
in several students. This affected our averages and 
gains. Other students didn't want to be tested and 
hurried to complete. 

Many of our students have been moving out into the 
community into their own apartments, which has caused 
them to be preoccupied and very stressful about 
moving. They do not do as well on their posttests 
as they did on their pretests. Hopefully their 
stress problem is short-term. 

We notice students leaving their math questions blank 
more often than their reading questions, just because 
they are afraid they will be unable to figure them out 
correctly. They choose to not even answer at all, 
leaving several questions unanswered. 

Highland Place: CASAS has proved to be an excellent 

way to find out the academic level of our clients and 
target their weak points with emphasis on instruction 
in that area. 

Clients appreciate the fact that they get tested at 
a level suitable to their skills and are very 

It is an excellent way of testing for living skills as 
we have no way of knowing whether these residents 
are able to read road signs, warning signs, or follow 
written directions outside of our facility. 

It is good because it tests many different areas at 
many different levels. 

Based on where we work, the tests may not be valid, due 
to the consumer's illnesses. If they are not feeling 
well, they don't do well. 

It helps show weaknesses and strengths that we may 
not know any other way. 

The CASAS assessment is so very specific that is has 
made selecting instructional materials easy. Students 
like to see the progression of moving from one level 
to the next and it is a great self-esteem boost for 

Because we work with a unique and diverse group, 

CASAS provides a way of grouping topics (competencies) 
in such a manner that it can be taught to most anyone, 
regardless of his or her level of comprehension. 

X. Other Important Observations/Information 

Learning Center: We have noticed that many older adults 

who take the CASAS tests score higher on them than they do 
on the GED pretests. Younger adults tended to score lower 
on the CASAS tests and higher on the GED pretests. 

We concluded that since the younger adults have most 
recently come from a setting where they have been 
given standardized- type tests, they will tend to do 
best on the GED pretests. The adults, who often have 
many years of life experience, do better on the life 
skills- type tests that CASAS offers. 

Highland Place: Due to the variety of needs which 

our clients possess, CASAS seems invaluable. Several 
clients have mentioned how good it is to get a 
"high score" when they see the scaled scores, regard- 
less of individual levels. 

Because most of our clients are greatly lacking in 
social and academic skills, the variety of 
competency areas is greatly appreciated. 

The test itself provides a means and sense of 
accomplishment to those who never might have 
experienced that fulfilling sense of successfully 
completing a task. 

I wish to thank all the dedicated teachers who helped make this 
report possible. With three years of CASAS under our belts, we are 
seeing the benefits of using this system to help our students 
achieve their goals and see results in their pre/post assessments. 

"Society is composed of three kinds of people: a few who make 
things happen, many who watch things happen and the majority-who 
have no idea what happened" Our ABE Program Director, Joan Rourke, 
has been the driving force behind our CASAS implementation and 
success. She's one of the few who make things happen. Thanks Joan! 

Respectfully submitted. 


Cindy Burnside, CASAS State Trainer 


is a fifty-six year old single woman. Ms living history includes 

Woodward State Hospital, residential care facilities and hospitalizations. Ms 

educational history includes no formal education, no involvement in any educational 
programs; Ms is charted as having an IQ of 36 and is unable to read or write. 

Ms was given the CASAS Special Needs Assessment. The lowest level of pre-test, 

5A was given with the following results: Raw-3 Scaled: 1 14. 

The interpretation of scale score 1 14 indicates that Ms can recognize oral or 

signed names and use of actual objects and some two dimensional photos. Can 
discriminate up to three objects, sex, large verses small size. More specifically, using the 

test items, Ms can recognize pictures of the following items: money, broom and 

medicine. She had difficulty with identifying pictures of the following: toothbrush, 
television, toilet paper, items to comb one’s hair, a bed, a table, pants, a fork and a shirt. 

Reco mm endations for Ms include skills related to identifying these objects, learning 

days of the week and possibly the alphabet. 

Carin Daly, ABE/ILS, IHCC 


Mr. is a thirty-four year old single male. His education history includes special 

education classes; however, he did not complete high school. Mr. living 

arrangements have varied, ranging from care facility placements to hospitalization prior 
to his placement at Highland Place. 

The CASAS level AA test, form 3 1 1 was administered as the post-test. Mr. 

responded, gesturing and verbalizing chosen answers. The results of the post-test are as 

Raw (15) 

Scaled (182) change (+16) 

The results indicated that Mr. has no difficulty with identifying bus by number; 

oven set in the “off” position, cup is half-full, objects of the same size, tags that are 
arranged from largest to smallest, the number 10 is larger than 20, state of residency, “Go 
in there”. He can read a digital clock, social security numbers, temperatures, “Enter”and 
“Exit”. He can make change for a purchase, add money and numbers. 

Recommendations for Mr. include: 

* identifying tools used to planting 

* identifying the clock the indicates “Almost time for lunch” 

* identifying which door “we go in here” 

* identifying/reading an appointment card 

* counting up to 20 

* identifying coins that are all the same 

* appropriate interview behaviors 

* counting by 10’s to 100 

* recognizing “How much is three $5 bills?” 

* identifying what a job application asks for (job experience) 

* reading/identifying clothing size 

* reading/identifying signs and directions (cost per load of laundry) 

Carin Daly, ABE/ELS, EHCC 
April 16, 1996 

From A Union Approach to workplace Education 


* Because the workplace is changing so fast, new skills are continually needed. 
This process of change and this need for new skills is not a temporary shift, it is the look 
of the workplace of the future, where continuous improvement and lifelong learning will 
go hand in hand. 


* The goal of workplace education is not to train the workers to do a specific job, 
but to help workers leam skills that will allow them to change as their job changes. 

* Learning to learn and learning how to deal with change have become the basic 
skills of the next century. 


* The goal is to design programs that work and to involve the workers (who will 
be the users of the program) at every stage of the pl annin g process to help tailor the 
program to the learning strengths and needs of the workforce. 

* This model of developing the workplace program mirrors the desired outcome 
of the program: a workforce that can work cooperatively and effectively in the new work 
systems that are being introduced. 


* For many workers, returning to a classroom setting is difficult. Many workers 
have not been required to use basic skills on the job, and their skills are rusty, they have 
been out of the classroom for years and are often reluctant to get involved in tr ainin g 
programs. Support services can help them be successful: tutoring, learning and study 
support groups, educational counseling, and peer advocacy. 

* Programs should build on the knowledge workers have and recognize the way 
learning styles of workers differ and the services be provided in a way that reinforces 
pride and dignity. 


( 11 .) 



• Talk with other workers (at each shift change) 

• Ability to comprehend verbal instructions 

• Ability to describe job functions 

• Ask questions about job functions 

• Communicate and rectify mistakes 

• Give direction 

• Follow oral instructions 

• Command of job specific and technical vocabulary 


• Read and interpret safety signs 

• Specific vocabulary for Company D 

• Identify abbreviations and symbols specific to the job 

• Skim and scan for pertinent information 

• Follow sequential directions from job specific manuals 

• Read and interpret pictorial drawings, labels and schematic diagrams 

• Reasoning (cause/effect, evaluating information) 


• Accurately fill out time cards 

• Take telephone messages accurately 


• Perform math operations using the mat tec keyboard 

• Perform computations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, & division 

• Interpret ratio & proportion, e.g., preparing mixtures 

• Read & interpret measurement on gauges 

• Identify fractions in progressive sizes (as in drill bits) 


• Demonstrate ability to differentiate, sort, & classify information 

• Identify effective problem-solving strategies 

• Solve problems & arrive at decisions as a team member in a work setting 

• Demonstrate ability to apply\transfer skills learned in one job situation to another 

( 12 .) 



I . Initial meeting with the company 

* company states needs/goals 

* explain to them how IHCC can help to 
determine and meet company needs -why WLS works 

* discuss workplace analysis 

* discuss employee assessment -positive recruitment 

* discuss labor /management education steering 

commit tee -how & why it works 

* set date for next meeting & company tour 

II. Tour of the company/business 

* follow up letter 

III. Set company objectives & educational needs & goals 

* commitment for workplace analysis 

* set a date to do the analysis 

* provide company with WLS process sheet & general 

time line 

IV. Outline process (complete a letter of agreement for 
cost of workplace analysis) 

* send letter & secure signatures 

V. Do the workplace analysis 

VI. Within 10 days, report analysis results to the company, 
plan possible classes & customized curriculum 

* provide proposal & letter of agreement to company 

VII. Assist the company with recruitment, incentives and 
positive approach toward the employee assessment 

VI I I. Set a schedule 

* for employee assessment 

* for counseling 

* classes: 

times/ dates/ weeks/hire teacher 

* create training proposal & secure signatures 

IX. Conduct employee assessment 

* provide individual counseling to employees 

within days 

* evaluate system 

Schedule & provide training within weeks of 


* evaluate training 

* determine other training needs 

(13.) 91 



* Basic skills can not stand alone, but needs to be part of a training plan 

* Joint sponsorship: what are the benefits for workers, union, management, 

* Form a labor-management education committee 

* Needs drive the training 

* Set up a workplace education/training program thats ongoing 

* Basic skills training should be the first step 

* Worker-centered learning 

* Report results of assessments to workers with one to one counseling 

* Volunteer classes have less resistance and have good attendance when the 
worker understands the complete training plan and what comes next. 

* Mandatory classes have good attendance when they are on company time, at 
the location of their job, with meaningful results tied to a training plan. 

* Develop and use workplace-specific curriculum 

* Teacher/facilitator should get to know the workplace and work culture 

* Learn all you can about the business world and different workplace learning 
projects, attend conferences specifically for the workplace, know the sources of 
information on workplace education at the local, state and national levels. 

( 14 .) 92 

Community College 


CASAS Pilot Site Report 

Adult Basic Education 
Southeastern Community College 

Southeastern Community College (SCC) began its exploration of the Adult Student Assessment 
System (CASAS) as part of an Iowa pilot project in fiscal year 1994. Staff development 
programs provided the means of introduction to this system. 

1. Additional orientation and training programs were conducted in FY 1995. 

2. Instructor participation was voluntary. 

3. Community orientation programs were conducted and reference and supplementary 
materials were made accessible to instructors, coordinating agencies and 
community /outreach personnel. 

During FY96, project activities were challenged due to turnover in several staff positions and, 
in our upcoming year, we will renew training efforts. Currently all sites use CASAS to varying 
extent. The following data was compiled from the four sites utilizing the system most thoroughly 
during this fiscal year. 

1. Locations 

Work Activity/Residential 1 

Learning Center — ABE/GED 1 

Predominantly Rural — ABE/GED 1 

Predominantly Urban — ABE/GED 1 

II. Numbers Involved in Pilot 

ABE Coordinator 1 

Teachers 4 

Support Staff 1 

Students 101 

111. Level of Students Involved 

The students at one of the sites were in the Special Education category, Levels Pre-A 
through AAAAA. Students at the remaining sites were persons preparing for the GED 
exams or building skills. These students ranged from Beginning ABE to Adult 
Secondary, CASAS Life Skills Levels A through D. 



IV. Types of curriculum materials used in the project 

Most instructional materials are purchased from Contemporary, Steck- Vaughn and 
Glencoe, which are adapted and incorporated into the AGE/GED classrooms. 
Contemporary’s Correlation to CASAS and Steck-Vaughn’s Guide to Competency-Based 
Education have excellent resources for locating available materials. The CASAS 
STRETCH Curriculum is available as a resource for the special populations classrooms. 
Modification and development of ideas has occurred with existing purchased materials 
from publishers of curriculum materials specific to ABE and special needs adult students. 

Of most significance to classroom use are materials which are also drawn from students’ 
environments. Included are local maps, school schedules, bus schedules, job application 
forms, work related forms, coupons, area newspapers, magazines, junk mail, telephone 
bills, Iowa Driver’s Manual, favored magazines, etc. 

V. CASAS Assessment Instruments Used 

Tests for Special Populations 


Level Pre-A 

Level AA (Forms 310, 311) 

Level AAA (Forms 320, 321) 

Level AAAA (Forms 330, 331) 

Level AAAAA (Forms 340) 

Life Skills Assessment: Reading and Math 
Life Skills Appraisal, Form 30 
Level A (Forms 31 and 32) 

Level B (Forms 33 and 34) 

Level C (Forms 35 and 36) 

Level D (Forms 37 and 38) 

Employability Competency System: Reading and Math 
ECS Appraisal, Forms 100. 120 and 130 
Level A (Forms 11 and 12) 

Level B (Forms 13 and 14) 

Level C (Forms 15 and 16) 





VI. Results of pre and post-testing 

Special Populations - 1 site (Eagle Summit) 

Life Skills - 3 sites (Learning Center, Wapello and Ft. Mad. Library) 











Site I (Eagle Summit) 

Reading 59 

Math 59 




Site II (Learning Center) 
Reading 35 

Math 35 

Reading 39 

Math 39 

Site IV (Ft. Madison Library {urban}) 
Reading 1 1 

Math 11 


























Employability Competency System has been implemented at some sites, but definitive figures 
are not available for reporting purposes. To date, SCC has no experience with CASAS ESL or 

VII. Adaptability 

CASAS is well adapted to most settings. The system provides for assessment of the full 
range of levels and serves students entering our program from diverse backgrounds. 
However, this is one of several instruments available to SCC instructors. 

VIII. Inter-agency cooperation 

There are varying levels of acceptance among agencies. In some, agency personnel and 
SCC instructors work closely to coordinate efforts and rely heavily on the results of the 
CASAS assessments for determining goals and appropriate programming approaches 
with clients. Internal forms as well as some of the CASAS information collection forms 
have been adapted for most effective utilization by agency personnel and instructional 

Several sites have held back on full implementation as systems challenges have been 
addressed at the various sites. Internal inservice programs have been provided to direct 
care staff and professionals from other disciplines and most of the facilities continue to 
explore CASAS utilization. While several ABE instructors include CASAS in use with 
JTP students, there is currently no state-wide JTP conversion. 

IX. Anecdotal observations 

We appreciate that CASAS not only accepts but encourages adjustments for the most 
useful and effective local reporting and programming. 

This rural program is challenged to provide the multiple training sessions necessary to 
familiarize all of our instructors with each of the components. (Special Populations, 
Life Skills, ECS, WLS) 

Post-testing in the ABE/GED setting is difficult as students consider attainment of the 
GED to be their goal and do not return for post-testing. 

The adaptability of the CASAS system is appreciated. SCC’s ABE program serves 
diverse populations, each with its own characteristics and needs. CASAS is readily 
adapted to requirements of individual students, instructors and classes. 

X. Other observations 

CASAS as a system is valued since it provides a method to specifically link each of the 
steps from assessment and pre-instruction to outcomes. 

With the anticipated state-wide availability of a computerized system for reporting, 
experience with CASAS has given us an excellent backdrop from which to upgrade 
services and provide valuable documentation as part of a state-wide accountability 

Submitted by 

Donna Norris 
Program Coordinator 

Appendix A 

Guidelines for Submission of 
CASAS Pilot Site Reports 




MEMO: 96.028 
DATE: April 24, 1996 

TO: CASAS Pilot Site Coordinators 

FROM: Bureau of Community Colleges 

SUBJECT: Guidelines for Submission of CASAS Pilot Site Reports 

This memorandum is to provide guidelines for submission of the CASAS Pilot 
Site Reports. Two copies of the report should be sent to me by July 15, 1996 
In writing the report, be comprehensive in scope but concise and to the point. 
In addition to the report, please send any copies of materials that have been 
developed by your project. The report should cover the following areas: 

1) Type of location in which the CASAS Pilot Site is conducted 
(i.e. corrections, learning center). 

2) The number of students, teachers and support personnel involved in 
the Pilot Site project. 

3) The level of the student involved in the project (i.e. ESL ABE Level I, 

II or III GED). 

4) The types of curriculum materials that were used. 

5) The specific type of CASAS assessment instruments that were used. 

6) The results of pre and post-testing with an indication of the average 
amount of time between pre/post and the average gain on the 
CASAS scale. 

7) Adaptability. How adaptable are the CASAS materials to the specific 
pilot site location? 

8) Inter-agency cooperation. What other agencies were involved in the 
Pilot Site and how successful were the CASAS materials to the 
adaptability of the agency clientele? 

9) Anecdotal observations. Please list the important observations that 
instructors and/or Pilot Site coordinators observed during the pilot 
test phase. This is important since it will give an insight into the 
key observations that teachers and faculty made about the adapt- 
ability of CASAS. 

10) Other observations or other information that you feel would be im- 
portant to include in your report. 

(over) q q 



FAX (515) 242-5988 


- 2 - 

April 24, 1996 

Given the diversity of the different CASAS Pilot Site Projects, the guidelines are 
generalized to serve as a reporting format. Your individual report should reflect 
your own writing style and include other sections that you feel are important. 
The main criteria to follow, in drafting your report, is to write in a clear, concise 
manner. Please keep your report under ten pages. 

The report needs to be submitted on “camera ready copy” format. Please follow 
the style that Kirkwood Community College or Western Iowa Tech Community 
College utilized in submission of their first year CASAS reports. Refer to the 
appropriate sections of the report entitled: Iowa CASAS Pilot Project Reports: 

An Initial Evaluation of CASAS Effectiveness in Iowa’s Adult Basic Education 
Programs, (September, 1994) for an example of their style. 

If you have any questions, please contact me. 

Sincerely yours. 

John Hartwig, Consultant 
Bureau of Community Colleges 



Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) 
Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) 


(Specific Document) 



Iowa CASAS Pilot Project Reports 

of_CASAS Effectiveness in Iowa's 
A 353 proqect report 

the third year... An Evaluation 
Adult Basic Education Programs: 

Asither(s)= Contact: John Hartwig 

Corporate Source: 

Publication Date: 

Iowa Department of Education 

September 1996 


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